Washington’s Nationals snapped a streak of 27-straight innings without a run when Josh Bell homered off of Cincinnati Reds’ starter Graham Ashcraft in the top of the seventh last night, but the Nats couldn’t end their current losing streak, which stretched to four straight games with an 8-1 loss in the series opener on the road in Great American Ball Park.
“Taking too many strikes, chasing too much, swinging at a lot of balls,” Davey Martinez told reporters after his club scored one run on five hits and went 0 for 3 with runners in scoring position and five left on base.
“We got to be — we’re not a team — we’re going to take our walks, but we’re a team that’s aggressive early in the counts and get pitches to hit and swing at them. Today we took too many balls in the zone and chased.”
The manager’s message to his struggling club, which went through three games’ worth of at-bats without pushing a single run across the plate?
“A swinging bat is a dangerous bat,” the fifth-year skipper said. “I mean, right? The only way we’re going to get out of it is by getting good pitches and swinging at good pitches, and attacking the strike zone early. That’s what we’re really good at. When we’re going good, we go up there and we’re ready to hit. And the last few days I’m watching and we’re taking too many strikes, we really are, and putting ourselves in a hole. Like I’ve said earlier, this game’s hard enough, and when you’re always up there hitting with two strikes, it’s even harder, so let’s be aggressive early, and come back tomorrow and go 1-0 tomorrow, but I want to see these guys swing the bats aggressively early, and hit strikes.”
HERE’s THE NATIONALS LINEUP FOR THE 2ND OF 4 WITH THE REDS: