Jacob deGrom shut the Washington Nationals out over nine innings in Friday night’s series opener in Citi Field, striking out 15 hitters and retiring the final 19 batters he faced, but the New York Mets’ NL East rivals bounced back in Saturday afternoon’s matchup in Flushing, Queens, NY, scoring seven runs on 10 hits and knocking starter Marcus Stroman (who had a 0.90 ERA in 20 IP when he took the mound and a 2.25 ERA in 24 IP when he left it) out early.
“deGrom, anybody, nights like last night, you shake it, you laugh it off, you shower off, and you come back, you’ve still got an opportunity to win a series. So, he threw well last night, but that had no effect on today and none on tomorrow,” Josh Harrison told reporters after his 1 for 5 game as the Nationals’ leadoff hitter in their 7-1 win.
“We put that one behind us like I talk about every day,” manager Davey Martinez said in his post game Zoom call.
“You can’t do nothing about the past, you’ve just got to move forward, and these guys did that today. We had good at bats today. We made Stroman throw strikes, we got the ball up at times, so we put the ball in play, so it was a good all-around day.”
That the Nationals managed to score seven runs without an extra base hit (while taking five walks as well), impressed their manager.
“Absolutely. We want to move the baseball, and you said something I wanted to talk about today is that we accepted our walks, which is good, when those things happens, it keeps the line moving. The at bats were good, so we’ll build off of that and come back tomorrow.
“We got another tough opponent tomorrow in [Taijuan] Walker, so we just got to make him throw strikes.”
The approach the Nationals’ hitters took on Saturday, Martinez said, will work even if they aren’t hitting the ball out of park or connecting for extra base hits.
“We got to move the baseball,” he explained. “We’ve got to accept our walks, and play for the guy behind us. And that’s how you extend innings, that’s how you score runs, and they did that today. Unselfishly they worked their walks, they got base hits when needed, so they all had a good today. So let’s continue to do that, the power will come. We got some guys that can hit the ball a long way. It’s going to happen, but for right now I like the at bats, I like the way that they took their walks, and they were pulling for each other, which they do every day, but today you saw them trying to get on base for the next guy.”