The second-half opener looked a lot like all those first-half losses for the Washington Nationals, who came out of the All-Star Break last night and dropped a 10-1 decision to Arizona’s Diamondbacks in which they were held hitless through 5 2⁄3 innings in Chase Field, and managed just three hits and one run overall, which they scored in the top of the ninth.
Davey Martinez’s club has now lost 9 of the last 10, and 15 of 17 games in July.
“We hit some balls hard,” Martinez said in his post game presser last night. “We just can’t get — when we hit the ball hard, it’s on the ground. We can’t get the ball in the air. I mean, like I said, we’ve got to start driving balls, getting them more in the air. I thought we hit some really hard ground balls today, but we’ve got to start getting the ball up a little bit.”
A few days off apparently didn’t change much for the club, though. It’s still the same club which lost 63 of 94 games before the break, though that will likely change in a few weeks. What do they need to do to start to turn this all around and get things going at the plate?
“I think we’ve got to stay on the fastballs, like I said earlier,” Martinez told reporters, “… and be ready to hit the fastballs, hit them more out front, so we just got to continue to work on it, we harp on it every day. We hit the ball really well in BP today, I thought we were going to hit the ball well today, and like I said, we did.
“Keibert [Ruiz] in that last at-bat, smoked a ball. I know [Juan] Soto hit a one-hopper, he said, ‘Man, I need to get that ball in the air.’
“So we just got to continue to work on it, and like I said, get ready early and try to hit the ball in the gaps.”
When they’re unable to get things going at the plate, it’s like they’re playing from behind the whole game, which they were from the third inning on last night, after starter Patrick Corbin gave up four in the home-half of the third.
“Yeah, and that’s something that I addressed the team about today,” Martinez said, “is about getting off — scoring first. We haven’t done that often, but we need to really focus on having good, quality at-bats. Scoring first, you know, in the first couple innings, and then see where it takes us from there. But we feel like we’re always going to come back, we really do, and you saw — late in the game we scored a run, but those kind of at-bats, we’ve got to have them early in the game as well.”
Will the Nationals score first and get off to a good start tonight?
HERE’S THE NATIONALS LINEUP FOR THE 2ND OF 3 WITH THE D-BACKS: