Looking for positives to pull from the Washington Nationals’ 7-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies last night, Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said he liked the way his club produced offensively and what he saw from starter Josiah Gray in his debut with his new team.
“I thought [Gray] did really well,” Martinez said of Gray’s five-inning outing, in which the 23-year-old right-hander, acquired in the trade that sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to Los Angeles, gave up just one run.
“Handled himself really well, he was very poised out there, and threw the ball well, and he threw strikes, which was awesome.”
While they didn’t score until the sixth, the Nationals ended up putting up five runs on six hits, and trailing by four in the ninth, Carter Kieboom hit a 93 MPH 1-1 fastball from Philly righty Ian Kennedy out to left for his first home run (and extra base hit) in the majors this season.
A five-run top of the ninth was too much to overcome, however, and a 3-2 lead evaporated rather quickly when things fell apart in the Nationals’ bullpen.
“I thought we played really well today, we really did,” Martinez said. “We started swinging the bats and scored some runs, but unfortunately, we couldn’t get three outs in the top of the ninth until they scored all the runs. But as you can see, we came back again, and Carter, it was good to see him hit a home run in a situation like that. So, hopefully he starts getting going and you see the Carter Kieboom that we know he can be, because he’s starting to play really well.”
Coming out of the trade deadline, Martinez talked about taking a good look at where both Kieboom and 21-year-old infielder Luis García (0 for 4 with a run scored last night) are with their development, and with Turner traded, and Alcides Escobar injured, both of them will get a good look down the stretch.
“They’re going to play quite a bit. They really are,” Martinez said last Friday, after the trade deadline passed.
“There will be days when I give them off, but for the most part they’re going to be in there.
“Gotta remember here’s two guys that were just on the IL [at Triple-A], so I got to make sure that we keep them healthy, but I want to see them play.
“It doesn’t matter. I talked to Luis today and I said, ‘You’re going to play every day, you’re going to play against lefties, I want to see you play.’ And we’ll see.”
Both Kieboom and García are in the lineup again tonight, against right-hander Zack Wheeler in the 2nd of 4 with the Phillies.