Davey Martinez liked what he saw from the Washington Nationals’ last 12 at-bats or so in the 5-2 loss in Nationals Park on Wednesday, and he said after the eighth-straight L he hoped a little of what they were able to do late in the game would carry over to the series finale this afternoon.
“We got another tough pitcher tomorrow in [Miami Marlins’ starter Trevor] Rogers,” Martinez said, after facing Sandy Alcantara and Pablo López in the first two games, “but we got to be aggressive in the strike zone.
“I still believe we’re taking too many fastballs, I really do. We just got to be more aggressive in the strike zone, and be ready to hit early. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of it.”
Cesár Hernández singled his way on to lead off the bottom of the first inning, took second base on a wild pitch, and third on a passed ball an out later, as Rogers and Marlins’ catcher Payton Henry mixed each other up a few times early in the nation’s capital.
Josh Bell stepped in next, and lined a one-out RBI single the other way, taking a 96 MPH 2-2 fastball to right field for a 1-0 lead early, and his fourth two-base hit of the season.
Rogers Settles In:
Trevor Rogers took the mound today (0-3) in three 2022 starts, but he was coming off a sort of a bounce-back outing which saw the lefty give up four hits and one run (unearned) in the five-inning outing against the Atlanta Braves.
After the trouble in the first, the southpaw settled in and worked around an error in the Nats’ second, and a walk in the fifth, holding the home team hitless after giving up two in the first inning.
His second walk of the game was a free pass to Juan Soto in the sixth, but he got an inning-ending 6-4-3 DP out of Josh Bell in the next AB, and he finished his outing at 91 pitches in a total of six innings.
Corbin Continues To Search:
Given a 1-0 lead to work with after one, Patrick Corbin retired the side in order in the top of the second today, on 10 pitches, but a throwing error on a Miguel Rojas’ ground ball to third baseman Lucius Fox and two-out double by Jon Berti, which Victor Robles misplayed in left-center, allowed the Marlins to tie things up at 1-1 in the third.
Corbin was up to 8 Ks from 19 batters faced after he picked up two strikeouts in a 15-pitch top of the fifth which left him at 74 pitches total on the day in a 1-1 game, and he stranded Garrett Cooper after a two-out double in a 14-pitch top of the sixth inning which left him at 88 pitches.
Brian Anderson doubled to center to lead off the Marlins’ seventh, and Corbin threw up high on Miguel Rojas as he squared to bunt, and the ball hit off his bat and helmet on what would be the left-hander’s final pitch of the outing...
Patrick Corbin’s Line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 Ks, 90 P, 62 S, 4/3 GO/FO.
Victor Arano came on in the seventh, with runners on first and second and no one out, and gave up an RBI single to right field by Jesús Sánchez, who brought Brian Anderson in for a 2-1 Marlins’ lead.
With runners on first and third and one out, Arano uncorked a wild pitch which allowed the third run of the game for Miami to score, 3-1.
Anthony Bass retired the Nationals in order in the bottom of the seventh, after the Marlins went up on the home team.
Austin Voth retired the Marlins in order in a seven-pitch top of the eighth.
Victor Robles doubled to left-center with two out in the Nats’ half of the eighth, connecting for the first hit since the first, and reliever Richard Bleier surrendered an RBI double to left by César Hernández in the next at-bat, with Hernández lining an 0-1 cutter to left and off of the wall to drive Robles in, 3-2.
Righty Cole Sulser came on to face Josh Bell, with two on and two out, and struck him out to keep the one-run lead intact.
Davey Martinez said before today’s game he liked having Josh Rogers out in the bullpen as a left-hander who can give him some length (like righty Paolo Espino). Rogers is fine with role, after starting early, Martinez added, and, “he even told me he can close games if we needed him to.”
Rogers isn’t closing game yet, but he tossed a scoreless top of the ninth in a one-run game.
Sulser, who finished up the eighth, came back in the ninth and walked Nelson Cruz to start the bottom of the inning, then recorded three quick outs to end it.
Nationals now 6-15