Summing up the Washington Nationals’ 5-0 loss to the New York Mets on Wednesday, and the three-game sweep in Citi Field, skipper Davey Martinez pointed to the errors, misplays, and walks his team allowed as the root causes for the way the team performed in the less-than-stellar series.
“The walks, and the defense, two bad combinations,” the fifth-year skipper explained after the finale with the Mets.
“We got to play better on defense, and we’ve got to limit the walks. I’ve always said, the hitting comes and goes, that’s part of the game, but you’ve got to do three constants: play defense, run the bases well, and pitch well. Just so happened today that 2 of the 3 things we didn’t do well, so we got to regroup.
“We leave to go to play Cincinnati, we got to come back and be ready to go tomorrow. That’s all we can do.”
Martinez was asked what he thought was behind the shaky defensive play.
“They got to come out and catch the baseball, plain and simple. It’s a big part of the game,” he said.
“We got to limit our mistakes. Can’t give good teams 30-31 outs. You’re beating yourselves then. So we got to play better defense.”
GM Mike Rizzo expressed similar sentiments when he spoke with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies before the third of three with the Mets on Wednesday.
“We make too many mistakes,” Rizzo said. “We give away too many outs on the basepaths, and we give the team too many outs in the field, and extra outs against these good, high-powered offenses are deadly. You got to make plays.”
Solid defense and pitching are just part of it, of course. The offense not scoring a run for 21-straight innings to end the series didn’t help, as they went 3 for 10 with runners in scoring position in the first of three in Citi Field then went 0 for 8 with RISP and 19 left on base in the second and third games.
“We had some opportunities. Like I’ve said, some guys are going up there and trying to hit that 5-6-run homer when all we just need is a base hit,” Martinez told reporters.
“Keep the train going. That didn’t happen again today.”
Will it happen tonight, in the first of four with the Reds in Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park?