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Washington Nationals’ lineup for the 1st of 3 with the Baltimore Orioles in OPACY

Washington and Baltimore play a three-game series in OPACY, starting tonight at 7:05 PM.

Washington Nationals v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

After scoring 24 runs on 29 hits in the first two games of the Nationals’ three-game series with the Miami Marlins in Washington, D.C., was the fact that they came up with just a run on six hits in the series finale a surprise?

“I was surprised,” manager Davey Martinez said, after the 3-1 loss to the Fish in extras. “We had a couple opportunities, we just didn’t hit the ball tonight.”

“You got to kind of give credit to the Marlins’ pitching as well,” the manager added.

“They made some good pitches. [Marlins’ starter Nick] Neidert threw some good pitches early. He made some mistakes that we didn’t capitalize on, but when he had to make a pitch, he made decent pitches. It’s just one of those days.

“After a dismal start to the second half, we end up 3-3 on this homestand, and we got a day off and now we head to Baltimore. If we win 3 out of 4 games every time we’re going to be in great shape. So, let’s — I told the guys to keep our heads up, have a good day off, and we’ll go after it again and go 1-0 on Friday.”

“I wouldn’t say surprising,” Josh Bell said, when asked if he too was surprised that the hits dried up after an 0 for 4 game at the plate wrapped up a 6 for 21, 2-HR homestand.

“We play this game for long enough to know that things like tonight happen. Obviously, we expected to score more runs there, but it didn’t happen for us, couldn’t get anything going, couldn’t get the W.”

After a brutal 3-11 run against the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres (twice), and San Francisco Giants, the Nationals needed at least a series win against Miami (which they got), and they have to start stringing together some wins against currently second-tier teams in Baltimore (31-64), and Philadelphia (47-47) if the want to get back in contention in the East, after Wednesday night’s loss left them 45-50 on the year, in 4th place, and 6.0 games out of 1st.

“We got to go into Friday against Baltimore and just go 1-0, and focus on that game and then go from there,” Martinez said.

“We know what’s ahead of us, we just got to focus on that one game, one game at a time mentality and win the first game. You got to win the first game before you can even think about winning the series. We’ll have a good day off tomorrow, well-deserved day, and get some guys a break and then come back Friday and play Baltimore.”