Josh Bell, Yan Gomes, Josh Harrison, and Juan Soto all homered in the series opener with New York’s Yankees last night in Yankee Stadium, and a six-run eighth inning blew things open for the Washington Nationals in what ended up an 11-4 win.
Nationals’ hitter put up a total of 10 hits and went 3 for 6 with runners in scoring position, with a three-run blast by Harrison a big hit early, and the big eighth, in which they sent a total of 12 hitters to the plate, deciding the first of three with the Yankees.
Did the club breathe a collective sigh of relief after the offensive output, following weeks of struggling to push runs across the plate?
“You don’t want to necessarily say ‘sigh of relief’, because at the end of the day, this game’s over and we’re back at it tomorrow, but it’s nice to see some results,” Harrison said after his 1 for 4 day at the plate (which left him with a .325 AVG on the year).
“Especially, guys, we’ve been working our butts off, battling, doing what we’re supposed to.
“This game is a tough game, you’ve got to be tough mentally and know that just because you didn’t get it done the day before or whatever, you’ll be presented with more opportunities and that’s just a testament of all the guys in that dugout that keep plugging away every day.”
“We hit the ball well all night long, it was good to see,” manager Davey Martinez said after the win, which snapped a three-game losing streak.
“We exploded in the eighth inning. [Yadiel Hernández] started off, smoked the ball to right-center field, and then we just took off, so it was good to see these guys swing the bats well today.”
Martinez said he thinks he’s starting to see the Nats’ bats come along with his hitters finally getting their timing down and beginning to square balls up which, last night at least, went out of the yard so they didn’t have to worry about them falling in for hits.
“I’m starting to see guys make solid contact a lot more and it’s good to see,” Martinez said.
“Also too, you know, we missed having Soto in that lineup, and strengthening that lineup all the way through. So [Soto] in that lineup makes a big difference, and we get him back and you saw what he did today, so hopefully this is the beginning of something good here for a stretch and we’ll take off.”
Everyone in the visitor’s dugout started to feel it in the eighth, as they fed off each other’s at bats and kept the inning going, took what the pitchers gave them, and made things happen for a sustained run.
“The boys — they get pumped up. They’re excited, they’re screaming,” Martinez said of their reaction to the big inning in the dugout. “It’s kind of nice.
“You get that really cool feeling that something good is going to happen every at bat, so ... and it did tonight. So, like I said, hopefully this is the beginning of us starting to swing the bats better. I said today, I’ve seen the little signs that things are starting to pick up a little bit with our bats. We hit some balls hard the day before yesterday, balls were caught, today we were able to do the same thing and we got some runs out of it.
“So, let’s just keep it going. I told you before, our lineup is good, and we’ll snap out of it and tonight was a great example. So let’s come back and do it again tomorrow.”
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR THE 2ND OF 3 WITH THE YANKEES:
NOTE: Hey, look, Juan Soto is playing the field.