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Washington Nationals news & notes: Nats’ CJ Abrams’ error proves costly in 6-1 loss to Los Angeles Dodgers

Notes and quotes from the Nationals and Dodgers series opener in LA...

Williams in LA:

Trevor Williams gave up three hits, three walks, and three runs in a solid, if unspectacular, 94-pitch, 5 23 inning outing against San Diego in D.C. last week, and it was good enough in a 5-3 win for the home team.

“He gave us everything he had today,” Davey Martinez told reporters after the 10th start of the season for the 31-year-old righty, “and it was an unbelievable way to start off the game and going out there and giving us five-plus innings, that’s what we needed.”

Even more impressive for the Nationals’ manager, was the fact Williams did it against a left-hand heavy Padres’ lineup.

“He mixed his repertoire up a lot, but he still attacked with his fastball, in and out, threw a couple of nice sliders there, but I thought he did a great job of just mixing his pitches.”

Through four innings last night in LA’s Dodger Stadium, Williams held the Dodgers off the board through four, protecting a 1-0 lead after the top of the second, but Jason Heyward walked to start the bottom of the 5th, and a misplay by CJ Abrams on a potential double play grounder off Miguel Vargas’s bat gave the home team runners on the corners in front of James Outman, who hit a sac fly to left field which tied things up, 1-1.

Mookie Betts singled with two outs later in the fifth, to keep the inning alive for Freddie Freeman, who hit a 1-1 fastball inside from Williams to right for a two-run double and 3-1 lead.

J.D. Martinez followed with a three-run home run on a 1-0 fastball up high outside, making it 6-1 in the home team’s favor.

Trevor Williams’ Line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 90 P, 55 S, 7/3 GO/FO.

Williams and Abrams talked after what ended up a 6-1 loss to the Dodgers, about the costly error.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

“It happens. It’s baseball,” Abrams said, as quoted by’s Sarah Wexler. “I’ve got to learn from it.

“[Williams] had a tremendous game up until then, so I kind of feel like it’s on me, but I’ve just gotta keep going. Just gotta keep my head and keep going.”

Williams took his own share of the blame for not picking his teammate up after the error:

“We pick each other up all season,” Williams said. “The defense is going to pick me up, the offense is going to pick me up and the pitchers pick each other up. As a learning moment, I need to do better and not let that inning spiral out of control. I need to pick up CJ there. And then we all rely on each other that way.

“So it’s a learning moment,” added Williams. “It’s a moment that I let slip out of my hands. But moving forward, I think it’s something that we’re both going to grow from.”


• Joey Meneses singled, of course, and one out later Corey Dickerson doubled, but it looked like Menseses missed Third Base coach Gary DiSarcina waving him around as the Dodgers’ outfielder Jason Heyward struggled to get the ball back in. Meneses ended up scoring on a 2-out RBI single by CJ Abrams, but Dickerson, who’d stopped at third base when Meneses stopped there, was thrown out trying to score on Abrams’ hit, so 1-0 instead of, potentially, 2-0...

• [See Abrams’ error in the 5th above, and the six runs that scored in the inning, all of them unearned].

Martinez on Abrams’ costly error after the 6-1 loss:

“My focus was on the double play ball that we didn’t turn,” Davey Martinez said of the way the tide turned after the E:6, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.

“We turn that ball, the next guy pops up, [Williams is] out of the inning at 60-plus pitches. It was unfortunate, and then things unraveled from there.”

The Nats’ skipper and his coaches addressed the mistake with their 22-year-old shortstop, via

“We talked to CJ about it, and we told him that this is a fast field. It’s one of those plays you gotta probably make one-handed instead of trying to get around it. I think he got all tangled up and it caused him to miss the ball. But it’s just another learning moment for a young young kid that’s actually done really well.”

Now That’s A Heater:

Bobby Miller, 24, and a 2020 1st Round pick by LA, 29th overall, made his MLB debut on May 23rd in Atlanta, holding the Braves to a run on four hits and a walk in five innings.

Miller showed off a 99 MPH fastball (throwing it 30.5% of the time), mixed in a slider (26.3%), changeup (24.2%), and a curveball (11.6%), threw a couple sinkers (7.4%), and earned the win in his first outing, “becoming the first Dodger starter to win his big league debut since José De León on Sept. 4, 2016,” as noted by the club in last night’s game notes.

Ranked 19th overall in baseball on’s Pipeline scouts’ list going into the season, Miller had at least one person on the Nationals’ bench excited to see him pitch.

He’s got electric stuff,” manager Davey Martinez said before last night’s game. “He’s got a real live fastball, good breaking pitches. We got to get him in the strike zone. He throws a lot of elevated fastballs, we got to get him down in the zone, but get him in the strike zone, not chase, but his stuff is really good, I’m looking forward to seeing him live.”

Nationals’ hitters? Maybe not so excited about seeing Miller live. The Dodgers’ righty held the Nats to a run on four hits through five, and he came back out for the sixth up 6-1, and proceeded to work around his first walk of the outing, stranding Luis García after putting him on with a one out free pass.

That was it for the Dodgers’ starter, who picked up eight swinging and 16 called strikes on the night.

BACK PAGE - Robles Still Working Way Back:

Before last night, the previous update on Victor Robles came during the series in Kansas City, when Washington’s skipper, Davey Martinez, said the 26-year-old center fielder was taking longer than it was initially expected to take recovering from the back issue which landed him on the IL back on May 8th.

“We thought once he got over the [back] spasms that it could be something different, and sure enough it’s taking a little bit more time,” Martinez explained.

“We’re dealing with a back issue, so we want to be very cautious with him, but he said he felt better today. He’s going to go out there and do some more strengthening stuff and then hopefully soon — I know he’s taken some swings off the tee, very light. Hopefully that will progress.”

Robles was off to a good start this season, before the injury, with a .292/.388/.360 line, four doubles, eight stolen bases, 10 walks, and 14 Ks in 107 plate appearances to start the year.

Before the series opener in LA last night, Martinez said Robles was still working his way back ... and it might still be a while.

“He’s been hitting,” Martinez said. “He’s been hitting off the tee. He’s been doing some flips.

“So he’s definitely progressing a little bit,” the manager added. “Feels a lot better, which is a great sign. We’re going to continue to progress him a little bit, and hopefully, I think maybe even tomorrow, he’ll get to do some flips on the field early if everything goes well today.”

Asked what the biggest hurdle for Robles was at this point, Martinez said, “I think it’s all of it with him.”

“It’s his back,” the sixth-year skipper explained, “so it’s going to be the swings, the constant running, the sliding. It’s going to be all [of it].

“So we’re going to have to get him ready, get him really strong, so this doesn’t happen to him again.”