Luis García went 0 for 7 with a walk and two Ks in the first two games of this past weekend’s series in PNC Park, but wrapped up the series with a 1 for 4 showing in the finale, sparking the Nationals’ offense with a 401-foot homer to center field in the top of the second inning of what ended up Washington’s one win in the three-game set.
“He played well, he jumpstarted us with the home run,” Davey Martinez said after the Nats’ 6-2 win over Pittsburgh’s Pirates on Sunday, and the 21-year-old infielder bounced back in the final game after a costly error in Saturday’s loss.
“His defense was really good today,” Martinez added.
“We talked about him getting to the ball quicker, staying on his legs, and he played really well today.”
García said after Sunday’s game that he was able to move on from the error quickly, and refocus on the task at hand.
“That just happens,” he said. “It’s part of the game, you bounce back, forget about it, and move on, learn from it and get on with the next day, keep working hard and hopefully the results come out the way you want them to.”
García and bench coach Tim Bogar got together before the third of three with the Pirates and put in some work on the defensive end of things.
“When we got here today, Tim and I talked a lot, a lot, about the defensive plays,” García said in his post game Zoom call on Sunday. “And you know, I always guide myself through him. He has, obviously, he has a lot of experience, and he’s helped me a lot, he has a lot of good insight on the game, and I always listen, that’s one thing, I always listen and take it into play, so he’s helped me a lot.”
The homer on Sunday was García’s fifth in the majors this season, to go along with the 13 he hit in the minors. He hit 14 total in his first four years in the Nationals’ system, after signing with the organization as an international free agent in 2016. He’s also hit 16 doubles between Triple-A and the big leagues this season. He talked on Sunday about the extra base hits picking up.
“I’ve learned a lot you know,” García said.
“I’ve definitely learned a lot. Try to maintain myself in the middle of the field, and move over a little bit, but this season has been a great learning experience.”
The power, he said, has developed over the last few years.
“I’ve worked hard in the offseason to get my swing right, worked a lot on my swing,” he said, “staying on my back side more, and like I said earlier, trying to stay in the middle of the field and opposite field as much as possible has helped me a lot, so it’s something that I’ve worked hard, and have to continue working hard on.”
Will he keep swinging it against the Miami Marlins this week? García said it’s important to finish up strong over the last few weeks of the season.
“It’s very important,” he said. “You always want to finish strong, any season, especially any way you can to help the team win, finish strong in all aspects of the game and it kind of leads into next season with the positive note and more energy and more enthusiasm for next season as well.”