In spite of the solid numbers Patrick Corbin put up working with Riley Adams in his previous four starts, Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez went with Keibert Ruiz catching Corbin for the second of three with Milwaukee’s Brewers last night.
“For me, right now our offense is struggling a little bit,” the fifth-year skipper explained, “... so I’m trying to create a little bit more length in our lineup, and by putting Ruiz — and he’s hitting in the six-hole — hopefully he comes up with some guys on base, and it gives us a little bit more length in our lineup.”
Ruiz started the night in the midst of an impressive run, going 15 for 43 (.349 AVG) with four doubles, a home run, seven RBIs, eight walks, and eight runs scored over his previous 12 games, and he’d hit safely in 8 of the 12 and reached safely in 10 of the 12.
“He’s hitting the ball good left-handed and right-handed, he’s swinging the bat really well,” Martinez said. “The biggest thing for me is — he’s been working with [Hitting Coach] Darnell [Coles] about just staying in the middle of the field and just trying to stay back. He puts a lot of balls in play. We’re trying to get him to understand what balls he hits hard, and maybe try to lay off some of the balls, because his bat-to-ball skills are phenomenal.”
Martinez acknowledged at another point in his pregame press conference yesterday some of his hitters are pressing, trying to make things happen as the offense has struggled to put runs on the board.
“I think these guys are just — like we talked about right now — are trying excessively hard to do things, to get on base and create something.
“Once again, for me sometimes less is more and just play the game and go out there and have fun.”
Martinez said the key for his young players and veterans alike is to just keep it simple.
“I think simplicity is the word we’re looking for,” he added. “Just keep everything simple. They’ve done it. They understand the game, just go out there and you get all your work done before the games, you know? You hit in the cage, you hit on the field, your preparation is all there, now just go out, when the game starts, go out, see the ball, and get ready to hit, and just hit. Have some fun. The biggest thing, these guys right now, just go out there and have fun, don’t create things that aren’t there, just play the game the way it’s supposed to be played.”
Ruiz continued rolling, going 2 for 3 with a walk in the loss.
Who’s starting behind the plate today? Ruiz, who is hitting second as well. What? Let’s look…