Another Series Win?:
How do you move on from a 19-4 drubbing, which snapped a three-game win streak (which was tied for the season’s longest)?
Quickly. At least according to Washington Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez.
“We’ve got to forget about this one,” Martinez said after his club gave up 19 runs on 18 hits in the second game of three with the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park this weekend.
“We’ve been playing really well,” the sixth-year skipper added.
“Let’s forget about this one and come back tomorrow. We got another tough opponent tomorrow in [Ranger] Suárez. Let’s just come back tomorrow and go 1-0.”
Getting the win in the series finale, and potentially finishing up a winning (5-3) road trip with another win would mean a lot, Martinez said.
“It would be another series win for us, so it would be awesome,” he told reporters.
“We’ve played well this road trip, so let’s keep it going today and go 1-0.”
They fell behind 3-0 early, but bounced back in the top of the third, with Derek Hill singling with one out, taking second on an error on the play, moving to third on the second of back-to-back, two-outs walks (by Jeimer Candelario and Joey Meneses), and scoring on a grand slam by Stone Garrett, whose 5th home run of the year and second slam put the Nationals on top, 4-3. Garrett demolished a first-pitch cutter inside from the Phillies’ lefty and hit it all of 378 ft., at an exit velocity of 102.4 MPH off the bat.
"this is how we're gonna start this off?"— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 2, 2023
with a JEIMER JACK?? why yes, Ian Desmond, it is. pic.twitter.com/irSIdkZfQt
Candelario hit a first-pitch changeup up in the zone from Suárez 394 ft to left for a solo shot with one out in the top of the fourth, connecting for his 11th of 2023 and giving the Nats a 5-3 lead.
Going into the series finale, Candelario was 11 for 31 (.355/.394/.677) with four doubles, two home runs, two walks, and nine Ks in eight games and 33 PAs on the road trip, and he was 20 for 58 over his previous 15 games (.345/.397/.603) with nine doubles and two home runs in 63 PAs over that stretch.
There was a rain delay in the sixth, but it ended up lasting just 23 minutes, and the Nationals held on for a 5-4 win, with relievers Jose A. Ferrer, Mason Thompson, Kyle Finnegan, and then Hunter Harvey locking it down to give the Nationals the win and a third straight series win.
“Look, yesterday, we got beat really bad, right?” Martinez asked rhetorically when he spoke to reporters after the win. “And these guys come today, we’re down 3-0, and we come back. Big home run by Garrett, but we come back and we play a tough game. We fight till the end there.
“I can’t say enough about these guys. Man, I love these guys. I really do. They’re in it. They were in it every day. They played 27 hours hard, so I’m proud of them.”
• Trevor Williams retired the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the first inning of the series finale with the Phillies, but he left a full-count curve up inside for Nick Castellanos, who hit it 380 ft. to left to give the home team a 1-0 lead early. Three pitches later it was 3-0, with the next batter after Castellanos, Bryce Harper, singling on an 0-1 fastball up high inside, and JT Realmuto hitting the second home run of the game on a first-pitch fastball pretty much middle-middle.
Brandon Marsh doubled on a first-pitch fastball just off the middle of the plate with two out in the second, but a diving play by the second baseman, Michael Chavis, helped the starter out of a nine-pitch second.
When Williams took the mound in the third, he had a 4-3 lead to work with, courtesy of a grand slam by Stone Garrett, and the right-hander kept the Phillies off the board through four, with 14- and 13-pitch innings leaving at 72 total with a one-run lead.
SLAM OF STONE— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 2, 2023
FOR THE LEAAAD pic.twitter.com/qUkMJAq2ep
An eight-pitch fifth, in which he worked around a two-out single by Harper had Williams up to 80 pitches total ... but he didn’t return to the mound after a rain delay in the sixth.
Trevor Williams’ Line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 2 HRs, 80 P, 48 S, 6/6 GO/FO.
Jose A. Ferrer, in his second big league outing after being called up this week, took the hill in Philadelphia with a two-run lead in the bottom of the sixth, and gave up a leadoff double and a walk, before he got Darick Hall to ground into a double play and Brandon Marsh to K swinging for a scoreless frame. Still a 5-3 game.
Mason Thompson gave up leadoff and one-out doubles in the seventh, with Kyle Schwarber (10) and Nick Castellanos (26) cutting into the Nationals’ lead, 5-4. Davey Martinez went to the ‘pen again, for Kyle Finnegan with the potential tying run on second.
Finnegan pitched carefully, and walked Bryce Harper to put two on with one out, before he got J.T. Realmuto to ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 DP. Still 5-4 Nationals.
Back on the mound in the eighth, Finnegan walked the first batter he faced, Bryson Stott, then fell behind 3-0 on Alec Bohm, who lined out on the 98 MPH 3-0 fastball he got.
Darick Hall lined a 113 MPH single right over Finnegan’s head to put two on with one out, but the Nats’ reliever got a 4-6-3 DP out of Brad Marsh this time.
Hunter Harvey needed just 13 pitches (8 strikes) in a 1-2-3 ninth, earning his 8th save in the process.
“Once again it’s about trying to throw strikes, early strikes, commanding the strike zone,” Martinez said of the Nats’ pitching overall in the game. “Making good pitches. We turned some really good double plays today, you know, and that’s about throwing strikes, hitting your spots, but that’s awesome.
“And from the beginning of the year we said we got to catch the baseball and help our pitching staff, and today those guys, those defenders, were really good.”
BACK PAGE - Joey Meneses Sits Saturday/Returns Sunday:
Joey Meneses was in a bit of a slump, or a funk, or whatever you want to call it, before his manager gave him a day off on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia.
In the previous six games on Washington’s road trip, the Nationals’ DH was 5 for 26 with two doubles, no walks, and 10 Ks in 26 plate appearances (.192/.192/.269). On the month, he put up a .238/.278/.321 line, five doubles, a triple, five walks, and 21 Ks in 22 games and 90 PAs, taking him from a .300/.339/.390 line on May 31st down to .283/.322/.371 on June 30th.
“Joey right now has gotten into a little bit of a funk,” manager Davey Martinez acknowledged as he explained the decision to sit Meneses against right-handed starter Zach Wheeler, with a number of lefties in the lineup for the second of three in CBP.
Behind the scenes, he said, Meneses was hard at work with the Nats’ coaches trying to get himself out of the funk and back on track at the plate.
“He’s working on trying to stay in his legs a little bit better,” Martinez explained.
“He’s getting jumpy out there. He’s starting to chase a lot. So we’re trying to get him to stay back and use his hands like he was in the beginning of the year.”
Meneses, who’s hit well from both sides of the plate (.285/.323/.372 vs RHPs; .280/.321/.370 vs LHPs) going into the finale in Philly, returned to the lineup to face lefty Ranger Suárez.
Martinez said he was just hoping to see the DH in D.C. make good, solid contact against the southpaw.
“I know he’s been in a little bit of a funk, but he’s a big part of our lineup. He drives in some runs for us. I talked to him yesterday, I said, ‘Hey, I don’t want you thinking about — if you’re thinking about hitting home runs. Just go back to just hitting the ball hard and try to find some holes out there. Square some balls up and just be you.’ We had a good conversation, so hopefully he goes out there today and slows everything down and hits the ball hard.”
Meneses went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored in his return to the lineup in the 5-4 win.