Following their fourth straight loss, and their seventh loss in the last eight games, with another blown save, and another tough night for the offense, which went 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position and 12 left on base, Davey Martinez decided it was time for Washington’s Nationals to have a team meeting.
“I talked to the boys tonight and we’re going to stay positive,” the fourth-year skipper said in his post game Zoom call with reporters.
“We’re going through a rough time. But we’re going through a rough time as a team, not just one individual,” he added, noting that it was not just Brad Hand, who blew the save during the ninth inning, that cost the Nationals a win.
“We’re going to stay positive and we’re going to get through this. We’ve been here before, you know.
“I often talk about the bumpy roads, they’re bumpy right now. But we’ll get through it. We’ll get through it together. And I think things are going to turn real good. We’re close.
“We’re in every game. We had our closer out there 3 of the last 5 games with a chance to win the game, it just hasn’t happened, but it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen often.”
Why did he decide that last night was time for a team meeting?
“I saw a couple guys with their heads down and I don’t want them to do that. I really don’t,” Martinez explained.
“Like I said, if the effort wasn’t there we would have had a whole different meeting. But the effort has been there, and they’re trying really hard. I tell them all the time, let’s just go out there and have fun. This will turn around, I know it will. We’re too good, and we’re going to be good. So just play hard, keep playing hard, pull for your teammates, this will happen, and when it does, like I said, we’re going to be looking from the other side and having a really good time winning a lot of games.”
The Nationals are 13-19 after 32 games, and after last night’s loss they are 5.5 games out in the NL East with losses in seven of the last eight games heading into the finale of the three-game set with the Phillies.
After that it’s a road trip to Arizona and Chicago for three with the D-backs and four with the Cubs.
It is a 162-game season of course, and they’re just five weeks into the campaign, and they’ll have to start to turn things around sooner than later, but Martinez isn’t panicking yet.
“If it was a 60-game season this year, I’d be definitely worried, I’d be nervous. But we got time. Like I said, our league, everybody is fairly close,” he said.
“We just got to get some boys — get some consistency and then we’ll take off, but we got the guys to do that, and I believe that, and it’s going to happen.
“We got guys playing well, Starlin [Castro] had a good day today, so hopefully he continues to swing the bat like he did today. Trea [Turner] is playing well. We got to get [Juan] Soto going and things will start changing. Like I said, we’re one or two hits really away. When I look at the game, we can drive in some runs or have one key hit in a big moment, it changes the game.”
Will they be able to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Phillies?