If you’re looking for positives from last night’s 10-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the seven runs the Washington Nationals scored are a good place to start, along with the top of their lineup, in particular, going a combined 9 for 18 with five runs scored and two walks.
“I’ll take my chances scoring seven runs every day,” manager Davey Martinez said after the club’s second straight loss to the Bucs, third straight overall, and seventh in their last 10.
“They’ve been putting up runs every day, typically when we score five or more runs, we’re usually pretty good, we need to get back to that.”
Typically, sure, but recently?:
Stats that tell you everything you need to know: Since Aug. 25, the Nationals are 0-8 when *scoring* 5 or more runs.— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) September 12, 2021
It’s hard to win a game, however, when your pitchers walk 10 batters, with starter Josiah Gray walking six in his five innings of work, and Alberto Baldonado and Andres Machado walking two each in what ended up being a four-run sixth that ultimately decided last night’s game.
“You know, there are some times when I overthink,” Gray said after his outing.
“And I try to be way too perfect and then nights like tonight happen, where I have six walks, and I don’t think I’ve ever had more than three in a game in my pro career, so obviously it’s an anomaly and it’s never going to happen again.”
Though he’s worried about the pitching, and the offense has been producing, that doesn’t mean the Nationals’ manager isn’t still concerned about his hitters too.
“Believe me, I worry about the offense as well, but yeah, the pitching right now, we’ve got to get our pitching squared away,” Martinez told reporters. “Like I said, for me it’s just about throwing strikes, it really is. Pound that strike zone. You can’t be afraid — up here you can’t be afraid to get hit. That’s part of the game. Guys have a bat, they’re going to hit. Let the defense play behind you.
“We’ll make some plays. But the walks, when you put guys on, I’m going to go back tonight and see the percentages of guys we walk, how many times they score, I bet you it’s a lot.”
Will the Nationals be able to limit the walks and put up enough runs to avoid being swept in PNC Park?