With twelve hits and seven runs on Saturday, the Washington Nationals won a third straight overall, a new season-high, and their sixth game in the last ten, pulling within one game of .500 at the start of the second month of the 2021 campaign.
Trea Turner, Josh Harrison, Josh Bell, and Yan Gomes all had multi-hit games in the second of three with the Miami Marlins in D.C., a 7-2 win, and Yadiel Hernández, Starlin Castro, and Andrew Stevenson all picked up hits as well. As a team, the Nationals were 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position on the day, though they left eight on base.
“They had good at bats today,” manager Davey Martinez said after the game. “Still again, we can still get better. No doubt about it. We left some guys on with runners on third base, less than two outs. We’ve got to drive those guys in. Not to nitpick, the guys played well today. We got some key hits today. Josh Bell swung the bat really well today. Some of the other guys, Harrison, Trea, Yadi, but if we can string together good at bats we’re going to score runs.”
Bell went 2 for 4 (his first multi-hit game this season) and hit a base-clearing double from the right side of the plate as part of the Nationals’ five-run fourth, and he continues to show signs of turning things around after a tough start to his first campaign in the nation’s capital.
“This is why we wanted him here. He’s going to drive in runs. And the thing is his at bats are getting better and getting more consistent. He had a big day for us today,” Martinez said.
“I feel like both of those balls I hit today were kind of off the barrel,” Bell said, “just a tad bit, but they were lower, and I feel like if I can keep balls lower on a line around the barrel that’s when good things happen, when you get mishit hits ... so hopefully more of those to come and the damage will be there whenever the pitcher makes a mistake.”
The Nationals’ skipper likes the way the entire team is playing, and where the club is as the second month of the season gets underway.
“I think right now at this point we’re in a good place,” he said.
“We’re still missing some key players, but the boys are playing well, and I tell them that every day. I mean, you’ve got guys diving and sliding all over the field to make plays.
“Our defense has played well. I’m proud of the way these guys went out and played. We could have put our heads between our legs early. But you know what, these guys, we put this team together because of the characters that we have, we know, and the players that we got, and you see what they’re doing. They stuck together and they’re playing really hard every single day. So it’s fun to watch them right now, and like I said, we’re starting to win some games, we’re starting to get consistency, so I really believe this team can really take off and win a lot of games.”
Take it day-by-day, Davey. Just focus on going 1-0 in the finale with the Marlins. Don’t know why we have to keep telling you that...