There was a really nice sequence in last night’s game which saw 21-year-old Washington Nationals’ infielder Luis García alertly cover first on 3-2-4 DP, makes a glove toss over to first base after a grounder was deflected off the pitcher, and then hit a home run in the top of the next inning, momentarily putting the visiting Nationals up in what ended up a 7-6 loss to Atlanta.
“Yeah, I mean, I really believe he’s going to be really good,” Davey Martinez said after García went 2 for 5 with a double and the home run on the night.
“He’s working hard to get better every day,” the fourth-year manager added. “And you can see it, he’s having better at bats, he’s playing better defense, his game awareness is getting a lot better, and that’s something that we’ve been working on with him. So he’s playing well, like I said, he’s playing well and I really expect him to get better each and every day.”
Through nine games in September, García is 11 for 35 (.314/.333/.629) with six doubles, a triple, and a homer in 36 plate appearances, leaving him with a .238/.277/.415, line and 13 doubles, two triples, and four home runs overall on the season.
“He’s been swinging the bat really well lately,” Martinez said at another point in his post game Zoom call.
“His defense, he works with [Bench/Infield Coach Tim Bogar] every day on his defense, and he made some really good plays today, so he’s playing well.”
García was asked which of the two defensive plays in that sequence he thought was a better play, and said it was definitely his role in the 3-2-4 DP.
“To me, I believe it’s that play where I covered first base,” García said. “I reacted quickly and ran as quickly as I could to first base, I read the play early, and anticipated, and as soon as I saw it materialize I ran over quickly and reacted well.”
García was also excited about the home run, which, as mentioned, put the Nationals up for a brief moment in a back-and-forth battle with the Braves.
“In the moment I was very excited and very happy that I was able to put the team ahead with that home run,” García said.
“Anything I can do to help the team win is my goal, and in that moment it was really big, and I was able to give us that advantage at that point.”
In the end it wasn’t enough, and the Nationals dropped two of three in Truist Park. Now they are in Pittsburgh, PA’s PNC Park for a three-game weekend series with the Pirates.
García’s back in there for the series opener, which starts at 6:35 PM ET tonight.
HERE’S THE NATS’ LINEUP FOR THE 1ST OF 3 WITH THE PIRATES IN PNC:
Josh Bell played 552 games as a Pirate.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 10, 2021
Tonight, Bell's back in the Burgh.#NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/8XLe4tjWRS