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Washington Nationals news & notes: Davey Martinez talks Victor Robles and that called strike; Stephen Strasburg and Wander Suero + more...

Highlights from Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez’s Zoom call on Friday afternoon...

Just Say You’re Sorry You Blew It, Ump:

Victor Robles was punched out in Thursday’s series finale with the Atlanta Braves on a full-count curve that was low. It was a good at bat for Robles, with two on and two out in a 1-1 game. Ryan Zimmerman was on deck. A walk would have loaded the bases.

Home plate umpire Nick Mahrley blew the call. Simple as that.

“Unfortunately, it was a bad call, but you can’t do nothing about that,” Davey Martinez said when he spoke with reporters following the third straight loss to their NL East rivals.

The good thing to take away from that bad call was the support Robles received from his teammates.

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

“You know, the great thing about that is that all his teammates went up to him and told him that he had an unbelievable at bat,” Martinez said. “That that was a great at bat. And I said the same thing. It’s unfortunate — Nick [Mahrle] behind the plate — I thought he did really, really well up to that point. I think just he’s a young umpire and he got caught in a moment. I looked at it and it was a bad pitch. The ball was down. But until then I thought he did a great job behind the plate.”

Before the first of three with New York’s Yankees in Yankee Stadium this weekend, a reporter asked Martinez if an umpire had ever come up to him after the fact and admitted to a blown call? While no specific names were mentioned, he seemed to get the gist of the query.

“No,” he said. “They don’t — and like I said before, it’s — of course in the heat of the moment in a game you get heated up and you exchange words, but after that ... I get it.

“It’s a tough position for them to be in and they’re not going to be perfect every time.

“Yesterday unfortunately it came at a moment that was a big moment for us, but you know what, all in all I thought he did really well. For a young umpire he did really well.

“We felt like he missed one pitch in an important moment of the game, so today we just got to move on, forget about it and try to win today.”

Stephen and Wander Updates:

It didn’t sound like Stephen Strasburg and Wander Suero would travel with the team to New York when Davey Martinez talked about the plans for the pitchers who are recovering from shoulder and oblique issues, respectively, on Thursday, but in the end both of them made the trip for the three-game set in Yankee Stadium.

Martinez updated reporters on the next step for each after they threw in a sim game in the nation’s capital on Thursday, starting with Suero.

“He’s here with us now,” the skipper said. “He’s going through his throwing program. He’s going to go out Saturday, tomorrow, and pitch in Lehigh Valley for Rochester [on] Sunday. He’ll get an inning in and then we’ll reevaluate then.”

And Strasburg?

“Strasburg is with us as well. He’s going through his program. He’s going to pitch another sim game on Tuesday when we get back.”

St Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Since their options are limited in terms of rehab assignment, with only Triple-A a possibility with the COVID restrictions, it was easier to just take both along to New York before taking the next step.

“Yes, because we have no alternate site any more. They’ll get a chance to travel with us now. Right now, it’s all based upon how soon we can get these guys back.

“We think Suero’s close. We’re working on getting Strasburg back, so we want to keep eyes on them.”

Having them with the team so they can keep an eye on them as they work is beneficial.

“Absolutely. Most definitely,” Martinez said.

“And when these guys have to stay back or go somewhere else, it’s never the same for them. They’re so used to their teammates and what we do here, so it’s kind of nice that they’re with us.”

Thanks, Boz!:

Veteran Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell announced his retirement on Friday, after 52 years covering sports in the nation’s capital.

Boswell will be around until June, but Martinez, after hearing the news, offered the following comment congratulating the 73-year-old writer on an amazing career.

“My understanding is that Tom Boswell retired. And I just want to say congratulations to him. Fifty-two years is amazing to do what he did,” Martinez said.

“Boz, if you’re around or you’re listening, congratulations. I’m glad you got to see a World Series victory for the Nationals. Well-deserved. And I wish you all the best.”