Yes, the Washington Nationals have won four straight, and six of their last ten. Yes, they did end up tied for third in the NL East after Wednesday’s win, which completed a sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates. But also, yes, there are still reasons for concern. And yes, there remains a lot of work to do if Davey Martinez’s club is going to fight for a postseason berth. One thing from Wednesday game that’s still a reason for concern for the team overall?
While the Nationals did beat the Pirates, 3-1, they went just 1 for 5 with runners in scoring position on the day, with eight left on base, and once again, they struggled to cash in on their opportunities with the bases loaded. Twice in the game in Nationals Park, the home team loaded the bases with one out and failed to score a run.
Josh Bell ended up hitting a home run in the seventh to put the Nationals up 3-1, but the Pirates got on the board in the top of the eighth, scoring a run that could have tied it up, and made the Nationals truly regret those wasted bases loaded opportunities.
On the year, the Nats as a team now have a .159/.217/.302 line with the bases loaded, which has them 29th/29th/27th across the line among MLB’s 30 teams. So, yeah, not good.
With runners in scoring position overall? Martinez’s squad has a .240/.340/.363 line, which has them 19th/21st/5th across the line in the majors.
Martinez addressed the 0 for 4 with the bases loaded on Wednesday in his post game after the win over the Pirates, which he noted did come a day after Yan Gomes hit a grand slam.
“Those situations, I’ve said this before, you got to really get into that at bat, you’ve got be aggressive early,” he said, “... and you’ve got to fight with two strikes to just put the ball in play. I mean, that’s really it. Especially with less than two outs, just move the baseball.
“Anything can happen, we can score a run a lot of different ways. It didn’t happen tonight, Yan with a big grand slam yesterday, but like I said, the at bats are definitely getting better. I mean, we’re starting to hit the ball well and we need to continue to do that.”
Continuing to do that against the New York Mets this weekend would be a good step if the Nationals really want to get back in the fight in the NL East, but they’re at least going in on something of a run.
“They’ve all been really good,” Martinez said. “I mean, like I said, every day we get prepared for the game, they go out and they play the game, and they all say, ‘Hey, we got a chance to win today,’ and they believe in that every day. I mean, they go out there and till that last out of every game, they’re fighting to try to win that game.”
So, like, Stay in the Fight? Amirite?