Coming into this long-weekend’s five-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies, Nationals’ first baseman Josh Bell was in the midst of a mini-slump which saw Washington’s 29-year-old switch-hitter go 0 for 11 with four walks and four Ks in his previous four games. Bell hit one out in the opener with the Nats’ NL East rivals on Thursday, however, connecting for his eighth home run of 2022, then he hit another in the first game of the doubleheader in D.C. yesterday.
“He’s just trying to hit the ball a little bit more out front,” manager Davey Martinez said after a 5-3 loss in the day half of the twin bill.
“His point of contact, just trying to get it out front a little bit and getting the ball more in the air. He’s done well. He’s worked religiously with [Hitting Coach] Darnell [Coles] on trying to improve every day. When you switch hit, it’s tough. To see him do it right-handed today, and hit the ball the other way the way he did, that’s awesome. I know he works a lot on his left-handed swing, but to see him go up there right-handed and hit a ball like that was pretty awesome.”
Bell hit his first of the day off of lefty Ranger Suárez, from the right side as Martinez noted, then in the nightcap he took another left-hander, Bailey Falter deep in the second, and hit another one in the fourth for his third of the day, fourth in two games, and eleventh of the ‘22 campaign.
In three games with the Phillies, Bell is 5 for 10 with four homers, three walks, and three Ks with two to play this weekend.
The Nationals are 0-3 in the series though, with seven straight losses now.
“We fought,” Martinez said after the Phillies swept both ends of the twin bill in D.C. “We fought both games. We had a chance to win the second game. Just couldn’t hold the lead. But we fought back. We fought back again. We just couldn’t score that run to tie it, or finish it. So, like I said, we got to keep playing hard, we got to keep playing hard, we’ve got to limit some mental mistakes, so but we got to get back here early tomorrow and get ready for another game.”
HERE’S THE NATIONALS LINEUP FOR TODAY’S GAME:
Celebrate good times, c'mon! #BLOOMDAY pic.twitter.com/vxTwuKEI8J— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 18, 2022