Yan Gomes Sits Again:
Alex Avila was penciled in as the Nationals’ catcher for a third straight day on Saturday in Citizens Bank Park.
Washington’s skipper, Davey Martinez, explained before the 2nd of 3 with the Philadelphia Phillies that Yan Gomes, who started in 34 of the Nationals’ first 52 games, was still day-to-day, nursing a right hamstring issue.
“He’s doing — he’s feeling better,” Martinez said.
“This is going to be a day-to-day thing with him. He plays — the position he plays and him squatting and stuff, I just want to make sure that he can do that for nine innings.
“We talked today and in an emergency and he needs to catch he go back down and do it. But I want to make sure that he’s right.
“It’s going to be a day-to-day thing. He feels a lot better today than he did yesterday, and hopefully we continue that trend and we can get him back out there as soon as possible.”
They want Gomes back, because the backstop was rolling before the injury, with a strong stretch of games in May-June, which saw him put up a .284/.308/.489 line over 24 games and 91 plate appearances following a .200/.256/.300 month of April (12 G, 43 PAs).
How did Gomes tweak his hamstring?
“He felt it running,” Martinez said. “It tightened up on him and it never loosened up. And like I said, he’s been getting tons of treatment. He went out there today and ran on it a little bit. He said he felt a lot better today than he did yesterday. He tried running yesterday and said he really couldn’t do it. So like I said, he felt better today, and hopefully by this afternoon, with a couple more rounds of treatment, we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”
When he is back, will the manager maybe back off a little after an aggressive schedule for the catcher in the first two months?
“We’ll see how he feels once he gets back, but I want to be very cautious with him until he feels 100%,” Martinez said.
“But he came to my office today and said, ‘Hey, after this don’t be afraid to put me out there every day, I’ll be fine.’ He wants to play every day. But I said, ‘Hey, we’ll just keep an eye on it, and when you need days, if you feel like you need a day, we’ll give you a day.’
“‘And Alex is doing fine too. So, I want both you guys here, I want you both healthy.’”
Sorry, Davey ... Johnson:
With Friday night’s win,” the Nationals wrote in their pregame notes for Saturday’s game, “Dave Martinez passed Davey Johnson (2011-13) for the most managerial wins in Nationals’ history (2005-pres.) with 225.”
Martinez talked briefly about the milestone in his post game Zoom call on Friday night.
“It’s awesome,” he said of taking over the No. 1 spot on the list. “But I can sit here and tell you I didn’t do it myself. I got the coaching staff, the trainers, all the supporting cast behind me. I appreciate them and I thank them very much. And I told the players, ‘Hey, I couldn’t do it without you guys either. You’re the reason I love what I love, and that’s this game, so kudos to them.
“I got a beer shower, so I’m soaking wet right now. You guys can’t see, but I’m dripping wet right now.”
He elaborated on those thoughts when he spoke in his pregame Zoom call on Saturday.
“Last night, it was nice, I sat around with the coaches, we talked a lot, and I thanked them for all they do,” Martinez said.
“They don’t get the love that they deserve, but they help me through and through, every day, the training staff, everybody in this organization. I thanked the Lerner family, [GM Mike] Rizzo, everybody who supported me and has been behind me. That’s what it’s all about. For me, this is a big family to me, we stick together, so for all of us we’ve got 225 wins, so, and today is just another day, try to go 1-0 today and win our day.”
Parra Shark Redux:
Gerardo Parra, who helped the club win the World Series in 2019 and then returned to the organization after a year in Japan in 2020, and is up in Rochester playing at Triple-A this season as he rehabs his knee following surgery, came on the current road trip as part of the Nationals’ taxi squad.
Why did Parra get the call this time, as one of the players on the squad?
“One, I love having him around,” Martinez said on Saturday, “... two, he’s a veteran guy. A lot has to do with — we don’t want to take our young players and bring them here and sit them down. We talked about [how] they’re getting to compete now and play.
“We’re trying to bring guys that are veteran guys that understand the bench role part if we do need somebody. So we had the Parras, we brought [Adrián] Sanchez. They’ve done that role before. So, if something happens, we’re okay with them sitting down for 3-4-5 days and being able to go in there to pinch hit or play one day or whatever we need them for, so the decision to bring those guys up was kind of easy.
“Like I say, here’s a veteran guy that can help us in the outfield, can pinch hit, can play some first base if something were to happen. So we were good with that.”
Martinez said that Parra’s knee is anywhere from 90-110% healed up right now, depending on who you ask.
“He’s doing a lot better,” the manager explained, “I would probably say he’s about 90-95%.
“He’ll tell me he’s 110% because he wants to play, but I’m keeping an eye on him and the biggest thing for him is to be able to do it consistently and do it every day.”
Meanwhile, Martinez said, it’s just nice to have Parra around again.
“When he’s around he’s a joy to be around. The guy makes everybody laugh. He still plays music loud as can be. So he’s fun to be around.
“It’s a little different for him, because he’s not here every day and he feels like he doesn’t want to overstep his boundaries, but for me he has no boundaries.
“And I tell these guys, they’re still part of this team. They’re the guys that we count on when something goes wrong, so feel free to be you. That’s what I want these guys to do, but he’s great.
“The other day we had a Philly cheesesteak together, and for a little guy, he woofed down two of them, and I said, ‘Holy mackerel!’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I like these things.”
So ... the important questions ... what does Martinez get on his cheesesteaks?
“I’m a plain guy, I put some peppers and some cheese, but that’s about it.”
And where did they go?
“Geno’s,” he said. “That’s the place we go to, yeah, I like it.” Oh, sorry, Pat’s.