Washington’s Nationals trailed 3-1 after five in the series finale in Arizona, but Davey Martinez’s club scored unanswered runs in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings and rallied for a 4-3, sweep-avoiding win over the D-backs.
Martinez talked after the win about the at-bats his hitters put together as they fought to earn their 3rd win in 19 games in July.
“We battled back,” the fifth-year skipper said after the 3rd of 3 in Chase Field. “I was looking at our at-bats, so we had 25 out of 41 at-bats were quality at-bats, and to me that was a good sign today. That’s what we talked about today before the game. Let’s just have good quality at-bats, whether you line drive, whether you sac bunt, or whether you walk, those to me are quality at-bats, and we had some good ones today.”
Asked how he judged quality in at-bats, he elaborated.
“Hey, if you line out, all you can do is hit the ball hard, right?” he asked rhetorically. “If you work a walk, you sac bunt, you get a guy over, the walks — we talked a lot about not chasing, you know, creating some different things. We walked quite a bit today, so to me that’s a good day for our offense.”
Martinez switched things up a bit, moving Juan Soto back to the No. 2 spot after nine games as the No. 3 hitter in the Nats’ lineup, with Cèsar Hernàndez leading off, Josh Bell at No. 3, and Nelson Cruz as the cleanup hitter.
He said before the game he was trying to, “get that offense going a little bit, get [Soto] and Josh up there. But who knows, it might change again, you know? But him and Josh right now are two of our better hitters, so I’m just trying to push them up and get them up there and see if we can get something going,” the manager explained.
Martinez was asked, half-jokingly, how seriously he considered finally moving Soto to the leadoff spot.
“Not yet, you know,” he said with a laugh. “Just — we want to get some of these guys going. For me, I’m going to entertain again trying to get [Luis García] up there, maybe lead him off again and see if we can get him some fastballs up there. As I’ve said, after the break, sometimes — I’ve seen it happen before where offense just goes dismal for a while and everyone starts getting back into the swing of things, and so hopefully today, after two days of at-bats, today we start swinging the bats better.”
HERE’S THE NATIONALS LINEUP FOR THE SERIES OPENER WITH THE DODGERS:
CF Robles— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 25, 2022
2B C. Hernández
LF Y. Hernandez