Davey Martinez moved Lane Thomas to the top of the Washington Nationals’ lineup against San Francisco Giants’ lefty Alex Wood on Saturday, but against the Giants’ right-hander Logan Webb in the series finale he went back to having Cèsar Hernàndez as his leadoff man as had been the case most nights in the first month of the season.
“[Thomas is] batting down in the lineup a little bit,” the fifth-year skipper explained before what ended up a 12-3 loss to the visiting Giants. “We’re putting Cèsar back up there, but it could be something that I do between left-handed and right-handed pitching. I just — like I said — I want Lane to get up there and swing at the fastballs, which he’s really good at hitting, so we got him up there yesterday, and he’s really good against left-handed pitchers too as well, but he did well for us in the leadoff spot, so I might look at things as we — every day, and see if we can get him up there on certain days and just move Cèsar down, and I kind of liked — yesterday [Hernández] he had a couple hits, but we’re hoping we can get some guys on base for him, because he can swing the bat.”
Martinez has been trying to light a spark as his club has dropped five straight and struggled to put together a sustained offensive attack. Once again, he’s looking for a spark that gets things going for the club’s offense.
“We just need that one big hit with guys on base to get us going, and I think it’s a trickle effect,” Martinez continued. “Once you get that one hit and you get a couple RBIs, you’ll start seeing more of it happen. We just got to get our lineup stretched out, get them all hitting at one time, and have a big inning.
“In Pittsburgh we had a couple big innings. We got to score early. We haven’t done that as of late. We’ve got to put some runs on the board early.”
In the third of three with the Giants in D.C., the Nationals scored just the three runs on seven hits as they fell short and were swept by the visiting ballclub.
They were also playing with a shorter bench than usual, with Josh Bell (hamstring) and Victor Robles (groin) out of the lineup, and essentially unavailable, before Lucius Fox became ill on the field a few pitches in and left the game.
None of the three are expected to miss much time, and Martinez said after the loss on Sunday he was hoping they’ll be back in the lineup tonight after a day-plus of rest.
“We’ll see,” he said. “They’re coming — we’re coming in tomorrow [Monday], going to do some stuff with them, but I’m pretty confident. Josh told me he felt pretty good today, and Victor did too, so we’ll get them in, get them some more treatment, and then come Tuesday I’m expecting both of them to be in the lineup.”
Going up against righty Sandy Alcantara tonight, Hernàndez is back up top, and Bell and Robles are back up in there for the first of three with the Fish.
HERE’S THE LINEUP FOR THE OPENER WITH THE MARLINS: