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Washington Nationals’ lineup for the 3rd of 4 with the Miami Marlins

Davey Martinez’s club looks to bounce back tonight after a disappointing loss to the Marlins in Miami.

Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

If there was a positive to take from last night’s 11-2 loss to the Miami Marlins in loanDepot park, it was that Washington Nationals’ slugger Kyle Schwarber kept swinging his hot bat, going 3 for 4 with his 13th home run in the last 14 games.

Over that stretch, Schwarber is now 20 for 53 (.377/.424/1.113) with the 13 HRs, 24 RBIs, five walks, and 17 strikeouts in 59 plate appearances.

“It’s crazy,” starter Jon Lester said, after a rough, and brief outing against the Nationals’ NL East rivals in South Florida. Schwarber’s one-time teammate with the Chicago Cubs and current teammate in D.C. said it is really an impressive run, but not the first time he’s seen the outfielder go off like he has in the last couple weeks.

“In ‘19 I saw something not quite like this, but similar. After the All-Star Game in 2019 he went off on a pretty good clip there and drove in a lot of runs and hit a bunch of homers,” Lester said, but this run is something else.

“I saw a glimpse of it,” the veteran starter added, “... this is a whole ‘nother level of what he’s doing. It’s a testament to him. He’s worked hard. He’s made a lot of adjustments through his career. And I’m happy for him, he’s swinging the bat well. Obviously well is an understatement. But it’s crazy. I mean, it seems like when he puts the bat on the ball it’s either going to be damage or it’s going to be a hit, and when you go through stretches like this, pitchers go through stretches like that where you throw the ball down the middle 2-0 and they pop it up, and hitters go through stretches like this where you feel like you make a good pitch and they still hit it out. Or they still get a hit or whatever. Hopefully he can ride this as long as we’re playing this year and he puts up some pretty stupid numbers and we can continue to ride the wave of Schwarber.”

The wave of Schwarber briefly provided hope that the Nationals could get back into last night’s game, after they fell behind 4-0 early as Lester struggled out of the gate.

Schwarber homered to lead off the third, and Ryan Zimmerman drove in a run with a single to cut the Marlins’ lead in half, 4-2, but the Fish scored three in the bottom of the inning to go up 7-2, and added runs along the way, snapping a four-game losing streak and ending the Nationals’ streak of five-straight wins.

“The way we’re swinging the bats now I really felt like if we kept it close it would have been a different ballgame,” manager Davey Martinez said of the Marlins’ answer to the Nationals’ two-run third.

“We got out of there, we were 4-2, and we just needed one big inning, to get out of an inning and I thought we’d come back and score some more and it didn’t happen.”

More often than not it has been happening for the Nationals on their current run, which has seen them win 15 of 23 games in June and 10 of their last 12. Will they bounce back tonight, and set themselves up for a chance at a series win over their divisional foes on Sunday?