Davey Martinez’s post game Zoom call with reporters didn’t start until around an hour after the Washington Nationals dropped the series opener to the San Francisco Giants by a final score of 1-0 last night in the nation’s capital.
Giants’ right-hander Anthony DeSclafani tossed a complete game shutout on the mound in the nation’s capital, limiting the Nationals to two hits and a walk, and facing one batter over the minimum in a 103-pitch outing in Nationals Park.
But it wasn’t the eighth shutout loss of the season, the fact that they put just one runner in scoring position on the night (and went 0 for 1 with RISP), or the fact that Juan Soto hit the heck out of a ball in the bottom of the seventh only to be robbed by Mike Tauchman, on a leaping, amazing catch at the top of the left field wall, that everyone was talking about after the game.
Instead, it was the fact that Max Scherzer left the mound two batters into the game, and the Nationals’ bullpen had to cover 8 2⁄3 innings a night before a doubleheader with the Giants.
Another frustrating night at the ballpark left Martinez with a lot to sort out before he went home for the night.
“Yeah, we still got a lot to figure out,” Martinez acknowledged after an MRI revealed only some inflammation in Scherzer’s groin that the starter and manager hope will heal up in days, not weeks.
“I wanted to make sure — I was talking to trainers about Max a little bit too there. Hopefully this is something that’s not going to take too long.”
“Best-case scenario, it wasn’t a muscle,” the manager explained. “MRI proved that, so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow, we’re going to reevaluate Max tomorrow, but I got to figure out who’s going to be the 27th man. I know [Erick] Fedde is going to pitch the first game, so after this we’re going to sit in my office and discuss a few things.”
As of the time he talked to reporters, the Nationals hadn’t decided on a 27th man, or their starter for the second game of the doubleheader, since Fedde is expected to start the first.
“That’s still up in the air right now,” Martinez said.
While he’s remained positive throughout the first 59 games this season, in spite of a lack of positive developments, Martinez was asked if he would take a moment to curse fate for the latest drama that’s hit his team. Spoiler: He won’t. He’s got stuff to do. Like decide who is available to pitch tomorrow, sort out a 27th man, and try to find a way to get the offense going after the Nationals were shut out again last night.
“I’m going to figure it out tonight before — I won’t sleep if I don’t. So, I might be here for a little while, but I’m going to figure out what we’re going to do by tomorrow, so this way all I can focus on is Game 1 tomorrow at 2:00. Before I go home I’ll have some kind of — the bad thing is I have to keep some of the coaches here with me to go over some stuff, so they don’t get to go home right away.”
Another late night at the park is nothing new for Martinez. What did he come up with?