In spite of the fact that they dropped their fifth straight game last night, in the series opener with the Braves in Atlanta’s Truist Park, Washington Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez tried to stress the positives he saw when he spoke to reporters after the 8-4 loss.
“[Carter] Kieboom again swung the bat good,” the skipper said, after a 1 for 4 game for the third baseman, which extended a hit streak to six-straight games, over which he’s gone 9 for 22 (.409/.480/.727) with a double, two home runs, three walks, and four Ks.
“[Luis] García, you saw him with a double there,” Martinez added, after the 21-year-old’s 1 for 4 game gave him a three-game hit streak.
“All-around, I thought [Tres] Barrera caught the ball well. So, we got to just keep plugging away.”
“We just got to keep plugging, keep plugging away, come back tomorrow and do it again, and hopefully go 1-0 tomorrow.”
The fourth-year skipper also said he appreciated the effort by his offense in general, with the Nationals manufacturing runs any way they could.
Their first run scored after a leadoff walk and two wild pitches, Kieboom drove in run No. 2, after Alcides Escobar doubled and Josh Bell walked, and a hit-by-pitch on Gerardo Parra, a wild pitch, stolen base, and sac fly by starter Erick Fedde got the Nationals their run in the fifth, before a double by Yadiel Hernández, another walk by Bell, and the aforementioned double by García.
“It was awesome,” Martinez told reporters. “I mean, like I said, these guys they’re playing hard. They really are. And the way we scored a couple runs without any hits there for a minute — but that part of it — Fedde hitting a fly ball, Parra, we talked about that left-handed pitcher [Kyle Muller] not being able to throw the ball to the bases, so he got a real big lead and felt like he could steal, so he stole.
“But I tell these guys every day, we got to be aggressive, you know, right now, we got to push the envelope a little bit, but you got to be smart doing it.
“And it was good to see that they’re running the bases well.
“They’re trying, they’re trying hard. Yadi again with a couple of hits today, he’s swinging the bat well, batted third today, and he hit the ball hard a few times so I hope he keeps it going because he’s a big part of our offense right now.”
Hernández’s first of two hits on the night extended a hit streak to nine-straight games, over which the 33-year-old outfielder is 15 for 31 (.484/.529/.774) with three doubles and two home runs.
One piece that was missing, of course, was Juan Soto, who tweaked his right knee earlier this week in the series finale with the Phillies in Nationals Park on Thursday.
Martinez said as much as he wants to, he’s not going to put Soto back in there until he’s 100% healthy.
“I definitely want to make sure that he’s 100%,” Martinez said last night.
“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow, he said he felt better after treatment today during the game, and we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”
Is Soto back in there today? Nope. We’ll see what Davey Martinez has to say today...