Davey Martinez said after the 8-0 loss to Houston in the series finale in D.C. on Sunday that Astros’ starter Justin Verlander, who held the club to two hits and three walks in five scoreless innings, had a lot to do with Washington’s offense coming up empty (though the ‘Stros’ relievers held the Nationals to two hits and a walk in four scoreless innings as well).
“Look who we faced today,” Martinez said, a day after the team scored 13 runs on 14 hits in their one win in the three-game series.
“That’s what — we’ve been swinging the bat well, regardless of whether we score runs or not, we’ve been getting 5-6-7 hits a game, eight hits a game, today that guy was good.”
In the series opener with the Marlins in Miami last night, Martinez’s club scored a run early with three singles off starter Sandy Alcantara in the first, and a hit-by-pitch and walk in the second gave them another opportunity, but the right-hander retired 20-straight after two reached with one out.
The Nationals scored another run in the ninth, but lost the first off three with the Fish, 8-2 in the end.
“I sense that sometimes they are pressing, especially when we’re coming from behind,” Martinez said, as quoted by MASN’s Bobby Blanco after the game.
“But we got to take the lead and hold the lead for a while, and then like I said good things will happen.”
The Nationals went 2 for 9 with seven runners left in scoring position in the series opener with the Marlins.
“I mean, when you have runners up there and you have some of your big hitters up there, look, this game is not easy and hitting is definitely not easy,” Martinez said.
“Especially, like I said, when you’re facing a guy like Alcantara that has really good stuff. But I can tell you now, they’re playing hard. They really are. And I’m gonna back them, I’m gonna believe in them. They give it everything they got, sometimes maybe a little bit more. But we’re gonna keep battling, I know that. And this thing will turn around.”
Going into tonight’s game, the Nationals have lost 7 of 10, falling 13 games under .500.
Will they pick up the offense with 27-year-old Marlins’ starter Cody Poteet on the mound in the second of three in Miami? Poteet is making his first start of the season after posting an 0.55 ERA and a .161/.254/.214 line against in 16 1⁄3 IP out of the bullpen.