“Let’s try to score some runs today and leave the break with a curly-W,” Davey Martinez said before the Nationals’ win in the first-half finale last Sunday, which snapped a nine-game losing streak. “That’s the goal. So like I said, we put some good at-bats together, we hit the ball hard, we’ve got to start doing it though with guys on base, guys in scoring position.”
Early in the fourth game of four with the Atlanta Braves in D.C., Ehire Adrianza hit a two-out, two-run single to give the home team an early 2-0 lead, and Victor Robles followed up with a two-run home run to put the Nationals up 4-0 in what ended up a 7-3 win, with Adrianza driving in a run with a groundout, Maikel Franco hitting an RBI single, and Juan Soto homering to cap it off (and extend a 26-game on-base streak).
“That was a lot of fun,” manager Davey Martinez told reporters after the win which left the club 31-63 through 94 games in the first full-year of the team’s organizational reboot.
“Robles, big home run right there,” the fifth-year skipper added. “Bottom of the lineup. Adrianza getting a clutch base hit with two strikes, but the guys, like I said, they play hard, and hopefully they take something out of this game today going forward, and after the break we come back and continue the momentum. I mean, that’s the biggest thing, so there’s still a lot of things that we need to clean up to really get better and compete every day and play consistent, so we’re going to work on those things a lot this next half, as we’ve been doing, but like I said, I’m happy to go into the break with a big win and a big win for those guys.”
It sounded from the manager like his club breathed a collective sigh of relief after snapping the losing streak (though they’ve won just 2 of 16 games in July).
“It’s awesome to see those guys smiling and playing music and jumping up and down, so let’s make it a habit,” Martinez continued.
The skipper singled out Robles for praise as well, noting even before the homer, No. 2 for the outfielder this season, in 231 plate appearances, he was showing positive signs at the plate.
“I mentioned I think it a couple days ago,” he said, “but he’s had some better swings. The ball’s coming off his bat now. And he’s been working really hard with [Hitting Coach] Darnell [Coles] on trying to hit the ball out front, stay back, and you can see the results, so it was nice for him to come through right there, and like I said, swings are getting better.”
Rough as the going has been since the Nats kicked off the reboot last July 30th, Martinez said he’s seen growth from the young players on the roster.
“I really believe that the guys that we have, especially the young guys, I think they’re going to be really good players, I really do, and like I said, with the effort that we’re giving right now, we clean some things up, we’re going to see some production and we’re going to see some good baseball out of them.”
Some good baseball down the stretch would certainly be welcome.
HERE’S THE NATIONALS LINEUP FOR THE 1ST OF 3 WITH THE D-BACKS: