With the losses piling up and the runs at a premium as the Washington Nationals have dropped seven of their last nine, it isn’t too surprising to see the ballclub in D.C. pressing a little bit and trying to make things happen. When you do that, however, you sometimes end up with a play like the one in the finale with the NY Mets on Thursday which saw Juan Soto and Josh Bell run into outs at third base and kill a potential rally with what their manager, Davey Martinez, said was an over-aggressive attempt to spark something.
Also those mistakes tend to stand out when you’re scuffling in a way they don’t when you’re winning.
“When you’re winning tons of games and mistakes like that happen, it often is forgotten,” Martinez said in looking back at the 4-1 loss in the finale with the Mets. “If we would have won that game it would have been forgotten, but because we’re not it magnifies a little bit.”
“That’s being overly-aggressive, trying to make something happen. And that’s part of, like I said, we cannot chase the game, we got to let the game come to us, and play the game the right way.”
In last night’s series opening 6-1 loss to Houston’s Astros, Martinez’s club failed to generate much of anything in terms of offense, with eight hits overall, all singles, and an 0 for 4 night with runners in scoring position and eight left on.
The one run the Nationals did score was the result of a leadoff walk, single, sac fly, and an RBI groundout in the seventh, on a play on which the Astros almost turned an inning-ending double play.
“We just couldn’t collectively hit balls in a row, where we could do something,” Martinez told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman after the game. “[Maikel] Franco hit a bullet [for the single in the seventh], and I thought: ‘Here we go.’ And we just fizzled. We’ve got to get back to grouping up a bunch of hits, and some of our big boys hitting them out of the ballpark. That’s what we need.”
Will the Nationals find some of the offense they put together on the recent road during the trip in tonight’s matchup with the Astros?