Have To Be Higher, Obtained It:
With out questioning the trouble any of his gamers put forth in Saturday’s dispiriting 9-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants, fifth-year Washington Nationals’ supervisor Davey Martinez did make it clear that the outcomes have been unacceptable.
The evening earlier than, they broke an eight-game shedding streak with a 22-hit, 14-run explosion within the sequence opener, however the next evening issues didn’t go their approach, and the Nats put up a complete of three runs on 11 hits, going 4 for 10 with runners in scoring place, and three errors within the area in a sloppy loss.
“We had a pair alternatives to interrupt the sport open early, we hit right into a double play with bases loaded, however the final two days I believed the at-bats, they’re coming,” Martinez stated.
“It’s good to see us get hits. Yesterday, we had the hits with guys on base, right now we weren’t so lucky, and the errors, man, we’ve obtained to scrub that up, we actually do, I imply, you’ll be able to’t give guys, as I at all times say, you’ll be able to’t give good groups 28-29-30 outs, it simply can’t occur.”
His message for the membership was a easy one.
“They’ve obtained to play higher,” the fifth-year skipper stated.
“Like I stated earlier than, man, we are able to’t afford to present groups — look, our pitchers are going to place — they’re going to get hit and put the balls in play, obtained to play good protection, and we have been enjoying good protection, however right now was not good, not good out within the area.”
Alcides Escobar, who went simply 7 for 57 (.123/.194/.140) over his first 17 video games and 62 plate appearances this season, was 5 for 8 within the first two video games with the Giants, however he picked up one of many three errors the Nationals have been charged with on Saturday, and made a shaky throw or two throughout the infield that raised considerations.
“He’s dashing a bit of bit to make the throws,” Martinez stated. “I believed he had a bit of bit extra time on a few of these performs, however look, he’s a one-time Gold Glover, so he’s obtained to make the performs. These performs have gotten to be made. I do know they gave that one child a success, however I even thought that was an error.
“I’ve seen him make that play tons of occasions, so he’s obtained to make use of his legs a bit of bit higher, and transfer his ft a bit of bit higher, however these performs obtained to be made.”
Whereas he was vital of the defensive work by Escobar, Martinez did observe that the shortstop and Nats’ middle fielder Victor Robles, (6 for 8 with a double within the first two with the Giants, after a 7 for 46; .152/.204/.239 begin in his first 18 video games and 52 PAs), confirmed indicators of actual enchancment on the plate in Oracle Park.
“They’re swinging the bat higher,” Martinez stated, “and for Vic, like I stated, we labored with him in Spring Coaching, and it’s beginning to click on for him, in order that’s type of good to see, and see the outcomes for him, so it was good. Alcides, , we labored on him preparing earlier and staying on prime of the baseball, so he’s beginning to acquire some hits as effectively, so if we are able to get the underside of that order going and getting on base, it’s actually going to assist us out rather a lot.”
How massive a distinction may the underside of the order hitters getting on be for the offense as an entire?
“I imply, we may find yourself scoring a variety of runs,” Martinez informed reporters. “Like I stated, we obtained some good hitters on the prime of the order, and if we are able to get on base for these guys, we’ll rating some runs. So we’re going to proceed to work with these guys, like I stated, I’m beginning to see some higher swings from these guys on the backside, so it’s good to see.”
Escobar sat out of the sequence finale, with Martinez explaining, “I needed to present him right now off with the day recreation, get [Lucius] Fox again in there, and have an different day for him tomorrow.”
Robles went 2 for 4 with a stroll within the win over the Giants.
Davey Martinez has joked usually since he took over because the Nationals’ supervisor in 2018, about how in his personal enjoying days he was at all times a sluggish starter, joking at one level about how he would even attempt to persuade his supervisor again within the day to only maintain him out until Might, however after all they’d ship him on the market, and he did finally enhance when the calendar turned from March/April. He’s severe.
Martinez was a .250 hitter in his profession in March/April, a .272 hitter in Might, .284 in June, .276 in July, .287 in August, and .280 in September or October. Can that be the identical for an entire staff?
“It may be,” he stated when requested that on Sunday, after his membership’s 7-16 begin to the 2022 season.
“As a result of April — the stress is at all times to start out off actually good. All people desires to start out off good, proper? Generally it simply doesn’t occur and you place added stress. Now it’s like — I stated to all the blokes, ‘Might 1st. Might 1st. Go have some enjoyable. Go play baseball.’ So we’ll see what occurs. We obtained an opportunity to win the sequence right now, so we’re enthusiastic about that.”
“I at all times began horribly,” he stated, “however Might 1st was my like, ‘Right here we go. Now it’s time to go.’
“And it was, for me, it’s like hastily Might got here round and for some unknown motive I might hit in Might.”
With assist from Giants’ starter Alex Cobb, the Nationals put up 5 runs within the first inning of play in Might on Sunday, and went 1-0 to start out the second month of the season with a sequence win in San Francisco.