Davey Martinez had fairly simple goals going into the final series of the first half of the 2021 campaign this weekend in San Francisco, CA’s Oracle Park.
“The biggest thing is to get through these three games with no further injuries and come out hopefully with a win today,” Martinez told reporters in his pregame Zoom call last night.
“Go 1-0 today and then go from there. But it’s a big weekend, and I mentioned to the players individually how important it is to finish strong this first half before we go into the break.”
Unfortunately, the Nationals did not go 1-0 last night, dropping the series opener to the Giants by a final score of 5-3, but more importantly, catcher Yan Gomes left the game in pain in-between innings after tweaking his left oblique swinging the bat in the top of the second inning.
“He had an oblique, felt something pinch, he’s getting evaluated, so ... we’ll know more tomorrow,” Martinez said after the Nationals’ second loss in a row.
San Francisco’s feed of the game showed Gomes grimacing after striking out swinging in his first at bat, and he was also shown holding his left side as he left the dugout and went down the tunnel to the visiting clubhouse/trainer’s room.
“He really didn’t notice till after he started throwing the ball back to the pitcher,” Martinez said, noting that Gomes left after a warm-up pitch before the bottom of the second.
Nationals’ starter Paolo Espino was surprised to see his catcher walk out from behind the plate after he started warming up.
“I had no idea,” Espino said. “I threw that one warm-up pitch, and then he just stood up and walked slowly to the dugout. I was wondering what — I don’t know, I don’t know what happened. I mean, I definitely don’t throw hard. I don’t think I would have got him hurt, so I was definitely wondering what was going on, but I just hope he gets back quick.
“I don’t know, I’m not sure what’s going on, so I’m going to go back and try to find out a little more, but hopefully he gets back soon.”
Yadiel Hernández walked out to finish warming Espino up before the Giants’ half of the second, and Martinez said they tried to test him to see if he could be their emergency catcher if necessary.
“The funny thing was, Yadi was going to be our emergency catcher for a couple innings there,” Martinez said.
“We had him down there warming up, squatting down, just to see if he could do it. It’s a tough ask, but we needed somebody in case something happened.”
And the Nationals, he said, will have to get someone in for the final two games of the series with the Giants, which might be difficult with a 4:05 PM ET start tomorrow in San Francisco, and more importantly, no other catchers currently on their 40-Man roster, with Alex Avila now on the 10-Day IL after suffering bilateral calf strains, and Tres Barrera up with the team the only other backstops on the 40-Man with Gomes.
Barrera took over for Gomes and went 2 for 3 with a two-run triple, but there will need to be some movement overnight.
“We’re working on stuff right now to see what we can do to get somebody here,” Martinez said.
“I don’t know who it’s going to be yet, but hopefully we’ll see what happens to Yan tomorrow, we definitely have to get somebody on the way.”