The first game was another frustrating one for the Washington Nationals’ offense, which put up a total of four hits and one run in the 4-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. Davey Martinez’s club went 0 for 1 with runners in scoring position on a rainy day in D.C., with three left on in a three-run loss.
Down 2-0 early, after a home run by Avisaíl García in the first, the Nationals put just one run up on the board on a Kyle Schwarber home run in the fourth, but they were down 4-1 at that point, and it ended up being their only run.
The biggest opportunity to get something going came in the third, when Andrew Stevenson bunted his way on, and moved up on a sac bunt by pitcher Patrick Corbin. Trea Turner got a one-out walk, setting Juan Soto up with the aforementioned RBI opportunity, but he hit into an inning-ending 4-6-3 to let Brewers’ starter Freddy Peralta off the hook.
“You know, man, it’s kind of tough,” Soto said after the loss of the GIDP in that AB.
“We’ve been working a lot trying to drive the ball to the middle and just to kind of roll over right there in a big situation where we can get some runs, it’s very tough for me.”
Soto slammed his helmet in a show of frustration after the grounder.
“I tried to control it, but the emotions just coming out. But forget about it. Forget it and keep going,” he said.
The Nationals’ manager expressed his frustration when he was once again asked about the club’s inconsistent offensive production in his post game Zoom call.
“Let’s think about this for a second,” Martinez said. “So, they get four hits, obviously they get a home run, they got a ball that went through the infield right down the line.
“We hit the ball and we just — right now it’s just no timely hitting.
“Just say Juan gets a base hit right there, all of a sudden here comes Josh Bell, and then next thing you know Schwarber comes up and hits a home run, it’s a different game.”
Adding to their collective frustration is the fact that they do occasionally start connecting for hits in key spots, and the offense looks like they imagined it when they put the roster in place over the winter, but then it’s right back into long spells of not getting that big hit.
“For me right now it’s frustrating, but we just don’t have that timely hit. We’re missing that one hit with guys on base again,” Martinez said.
“We started doing better, things started happening, and all of a sudden now last couple games, it’s back to not having that timely hit.
“I want these guys to keep going. [Stevenson] hit ball well, he bunted, he got a base hit, Schwarber hit a bomb, so just keep playing the game, things will turn around.
“I tell them that all the time, ‘We still got a long ways to go, you guys are all good hitters, it’s just one of those things, so keep swinging those bats, keep taking your walks, we’ll start hitting the ball with guys on base and start driving in some runs.’
“I don’t want these guys to start feeling like they have to be the guy to do it and like I said, just be a guy, get on for the next guy and things will start happening for us.”