With losses in each of the first two games with the Miami Marlins in this long-weekend, four-game, holiday series, Washington’s Nationals are 1-10 against their NL East rivals in 2022. It’s not much better against Atlanta (2-4), New York (2-8), or Philadelphia (1-4), but they’ve seen the Fish more often through three months-plus and have been dominated by the 35-40 club so far.
“We just got — we scored three runs the last two games against them,” Davey Martinez said in his post game press conference following Saturday’s 5-3 loss. “We just got to continue — I think we got to be more aggressive with our swings. And get the balls — we’re a good fastball hitting team. I think this team has thrown a lot of breaking balls against us, but we have to be ready to hit the fastballs, and jump on the fastballs, and not sit and wait until we get to two strikes. We got to be more aggressive. That’s how we score runs. I know I started pinch hitting these guys against [reliever Anthony] Bass, they came out and they started jumping on the fastball and we started hitting the ball and got something going, but I think we need to do that throughout the game, let’s be aggressive and not so passive. I know their pitching has been pretty good, but when the pitching is good like that, you can’t sit back and wait and try to think you’re going to hit with two strikes and get hits. We just got to be ready and swing the bat.”
If you’re looking for positives on the offensive end, Juan Soto started the second of four with the Marlins in D.C. with a seven-game hit streak going, over which he was 10 for 39 (.256/.431/.436) with four doubles, a home run, 12 walks, and seven strikeouts in 51 plate appearances.
He extended the streak with an opposite field home run off Marlins’ starter Daniel Castano in the bottom of the sixth, a 364-foot blast.
“I loved it,” Martinez told reporters. “It was good. He stayed on the ball well, and got the ball in the air. I know the second at-bat he struck out, but he had a couple good swings, and still stayed behind the back ball, which is really nice. When he starts doing that good things are going to come.”
Will Soto extend the streak? Will the Nationals avoid a third straight loss to the Marlins in the series and a fourth straight loss overall?