Stopping Kyle Schwarber:
Kyle Schwarber, with two more home runs last night, has hit four in six games against the Nationals this season, and he’s hit 14 in his last 31 games overall, not quite the 16 in 27 games for the Nats last June, before he was traded to Boston and then eventually signed on with the Philadelphia Phillies this past spring. So how will Washington try to stop him?
With runners on second and third and one out in the sixth last night, after Schwarber hit one 412 feet to center field in the first, and then hit one 431 feet to right field the second time up, Davey Martinez walked the slugger to load the bases. Might we see more of that approach over the next two games? Like in any situation, really?
Oh, yeah,” Martinez told reporters, but, “... especially in that situation, with first base open, we were hoping that we’d get a ground ball there.”
If you do pitch to him? How do the Nationals plan to approach Schwarber?
“He’s — as we all know, we’ve seen it before, you leave a ball out over the plate for him or leave a ball up in the zone, he can hit them a long way.
“Tonight was a perfect example of that, so we got to pitch — we tried to go down and away, it was almost middle, he hit it out to center field, and then we tried to go up, it wasn’t quite in, he brought his hands in and hit it down the right field line, so as we’ve seen before, when he’s hot like that the home runs come in bunches for him.”
Yeah, Thanks Jason:
Washington ended the series with Miami 1-12 against the Marlins in 13 games this season, following a four-game sweep by the Fish in Nationals Park, and as Jayson Stark noted last night, within the NL East, it’s been brutal for the Nats thus far in 2022:
The Nationals have 29 losses already just in their division (6-29).— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 6, 2022
The Yankees have 23 losses all season.
They’re also 1-18 vs the division since Memorial Day weekend! https://t.co/vFI3laa8vm— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 6, 2022
Yikes. Thanks for that, I guess. But it’s not like Davey Martinez isn’t aware of the results in the division this season.
“We definitely have to play better within our division,” Martinez said. “These are the guys we’re going to face all the time, and we have to come ready to play and play a lot better. We lost some close games in the last few days, but today was — like I said, today was kind of a lopsided game, and when your pitcher only goes 3 2⁄3 innings, things could go awry, so let’s just forget about this one, come back tomorrow, and try to go 1-0 tomorrow.”
Last night, however, it was tough. The Nationals lost 11-0 without Juan Soto or Nelson Cruz available, as Soto (calf) sat for a second straight game and Cruz (illness) was a late scratch.
“We got to get our offense going,” Martinez said after last night’s loss. “We missed two big hitters in our lineup with Cruz and Soto, so hopefully they’ll be available tomorrow.”
Are Soto or Cruz back in there? Let’s see...