Who’s On First?:
So, who’s going to play first base if Josh Bell, who tweaked his left knee last night and was headed for an MRI today, isn’t able to answer the, uh ...take the field this afternoon at 4:05 PM ET for the series finale with the Arizona Diamondbacks in Washington, D.C.
Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez talked after last night’s game about where he might turn if Bell isn’t able to play, after he shifted Maikel Franco across the infield with Lucius Fox over at third base once Bell left the game between the end of the third and the start of the fourth on Wednesday night.
“We’ll see. Riley [Adams] has taken some balls over there [at first base],” Martinez said, “… but we’ll see how Josh is feeling today, and we’ll go from there.”
One option Martinez ruled out? Nelson Cruz is not going to play first base he said, when he was asked if the 41-year-old DH is an option.
“Uh, probably not. I wouldn’t want to do that to him right now,” Martinez said.
Luckily, Bell’s MRI came back clean and he is in the lineup this afternoon…
Keibert Comes Alive:
Keibert Ruiz went into last night’s game in an 0 for 15 slump, but the 23-year-old catcher hit a line drive to center field the first time up (which was caught), then he doubled in his next at-bat in the fourth, and singled to drive in a run in the sixth inning, in what ended up being a 2 for 4 night at the plate for the young catcher.
What was different for Ruiz in the third of four with the D-backs in D.C.?
“He slowed down a little bit,” Martinez said. “His head was behind his swing, he got the ball up. When he’s swinging really good, he sees the ball up better. And he did that tonight, he got some balls, he hammered some balls, so he had a good night at the plate.”
Robles’s Hit Streak Est Mort:
Victor Robles’s three-game hit streak was fun while it lasted, but he went 0 for 4 with 2 Ks in last night’s game, though he did manage to make a few fairly spectacular plays on defense.
His manager noticed, and praised the 24-year-old outfielder’s ability to remain focused with the glove on even as he struggles with the bat in his hands.
“He’s playing really well out in the outfield,” Martinez told reporters last night, “... and like I said, I’m proud that he’s — we’re working on his swing, and he’s not taking it out to the field with him, he’s playing good defense. That’s something that I’ve always told him, ‘You got to separate the two, and catch the ball for us in center field,’ and he’s done a great job so far.”