A day removed from all of the trade deadline rumors and drama it was back to business for the Washington Nationals, who put a late-game rally together, scoring five in the ninth after they’d been shut out for eight innings in what ended up a 9-5 loss to the New York Mets in the nation’s capital.
Keibert Ruiz and Lane Thomas homered, Josh Palacios, Ildemaro Vargas, Victor Robles, and then Luis García all singled, as the offense finally connected for six of the club’s 13 hits in the game after Mets’ starter Chris Bassitt’s seven scoreless in which he gave up just six hits.
“They exploded,” Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters after dropping 2 of 3 to the Mets.
“We had some decent at-bats throughout the game, but the last inning they really, they stayed deep, they started using the middle of the field. If we would’ve done that a little earlier, things would’ve been a little bit different. But they battled back. I’ve always said these guys, they’re relentless. They aren’t going to quit.
“They’re going to play to the last out, and we ended up scoring five runs there.
“We made it exciting at the end, but obviously, it wasn’t enough.”
The Nationals’ fifth-year skipper did say he was happy with the effort from his new-look ballclub following the trade which sent Juan Soto and Josh Bell to the San Diego Padres at the trade deadline.
“It’s been great. Been great,” he said. “These guys, they’re staying positive, they’re playing, they’re playing hard, and that’s all you can ask.”
Bassitt, who’s now thrown 13 scoreless against the Mets’ NL East rivals this year, kept the Nationals’ off-balance through his time on the mound in the series finale.
“I think think it was Bassitt mixing his pitches up,” Martinez said. “He had a good two-seamer, good cutter, and his curveball was pretty good. He started throwing a lot more, but he kept the ball down for the most part and used both sides of the plate. And then all of a sudden we started staying in the middle of the field a lot better, hitting the ball where it was pitched, we were able to score a bunch of runs.”
Tonight they take on new Phillies’ starter Noah Syndergaard, who was acquired in a deadline deal with the LA Angels.
It is not going to get any easier...