“We had some opportunities with guys on base, we hit the ball hard though, we lined out a few times, we just couldn’t get that big hit with guys on base,” Davey Martinez said of the 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position, 11-left-on-base showing for the Washington Nationals’ offense in Saturday night’s 6-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“It was a tough night offensively. We tried to scratch and claw there at the end, but couldn’t finish it,” the fifth-year skipper said after the second of three losses his club suffered in their four-game series in PNC Park.
In Sunday’s series finale, the Nationals loaded the bases with a one-out walk and back-to-back singles in the top of the second, and scored three runs on back-to-back singles off Riley Adams and Victor Robles’s bats, but they stranded two runners in that inning, and in the third, they put two on with no one out and stranded both.
In the end, the Nationals went 3 for 10 with runners in scoring position and 10 left on base as the Bucs scored five unanswered runs and took the fourth game of four in their park.
“We should have put them away early,” Martinez said after the final game of the seven-game road trip to Atlanta and Pittsburgh.
“We didn’t do that either, so we got to finish games,” he added, “keeping working good at-bats throughout the whole game, and put teams like that away. When we jump on them like that, we just got to put them away, and we didn’t do that today.”
What kept them from putting the Pirates away, and from scoring with runners in scoring position overall?
“We start chasing and getting outside the zone,” Martinez explained, “... but more so too, when you get an opportunity to drive in a run, be ready. Be ready to hit the fastball. Don’t take — don’t wait until you get to two strikes, you know, but be aggressive early in the count. I’ve always said that and I’ve always preached, ‘Hey, first two pitches, the first two pitches when a guy’s on base are the best pitches I think you’re going to get to hit, they really are if you look at it, and we’re hitting deep in the count a lot, and we’ve got to get more aggressive with guys on base.”
Will the Nationals come out more aggressive after an unscheduled night off following their first road trip of the season?