Following 5-1, 7-3, and 5-0 losses within the first three video games of the season, the Washington Nationals, sparked by Nelson Cruz’s first dwelling run of the 12 months, and 450th profession homer, beat the New York Mets within the collection finale.
Cruz, the 41-year-old, 18-year veteran, and Nationals’ DH, went 5 for 35 (.143 AVG), with one double and two homers in Spring Coaching motion, and he began off 1 for 12 in his first three common season video games, with a 100% floor ball% early in keeping with Fangraphs.
He went 2 for 4 with the house run and a bases-loaded, two-run single late within the 4-2 victory on Sunday.
His new supervisor was not fearful about Cruz.
“Like I’ve at all times mentioned, I’m not fearful about Nelson hitting,” Martinez mentioned after the sweep-avoiding win. “He’s knowledgeable hitter, he is aware of the right way to drive in runs. It was lovely.
“Hits the house run, he stays contained in the ball with two strikes, hits the ball up the center, two massive runs for us there.”
Although they’d struggled on the plate as a group within the first few video games, Martinez remained assured the bats would get up.
“We talked about this immediately,” he mentioned earlier than the membership boarded a flight for Atlanta. “Hitting coaches — we mentioned some stuff, and the one factor I do know for certain they’re not going to go 0 for 2000. They’re going to start out hitting, so simply do the little issues, they usually got here by immediately.”
Cruz sparking the primary win of the season with an enormous profession milestone happy his supervisor.
And 450 dwelling runs?
“That’s quite a lot of homers,” Martinez mentioned. “I instructed him he may have 50 of mine to get to 500 if he needed. However he — that’s unbelievable, it truly is. I imply, like I mentioned, as a testomony to how good a hitter he actually is, and what he can do. I like the two-strike strategy although. I do know he’s going to hit dwelling runs, however the two-strike strategy to drive the run in was superior.”
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR THE OPENER WITH THE BRAVES: