Washington Nationals: Deja vu as Davey Martinez under fire after late loss
By Blake Finney
The Washington Nationals succumbed to their second consecutive walk-off loss, this time against the St Louis Cardinals. Davey Martinez is under fire again.
After the crushing walk-off defeat to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night, it happened again to the Washington Nationals. The St Louis Cardinals walked them off, and the decision making of Davey Martinez was flawed yet again.
The Nationals led 4-3 in the eighth, but there were two men on after Justin Miller had served up a homer and single, and then Sammy Solis allowed another single. Then, National League MVP candidate Matt Carpenter dug in against Solis, who’s reverse splits have seemingly become common knowledge.
Solis’ first pitch was spiked in the dirt, allowing the baserunners to move to second a third. That left a base open should Martinez have wanted to avoid pitching to Carpenter. But he did pitch to him, and the ball predictably left the yard.
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Entering the night, Solis’ was allowing a slash of .275/.333/.478 to lefties and just .213/.333/.361 to righties. Leaving him in to face the Cards star was questionable at best.
But then, with a base open the decision not to just put Carpenter on was simply baffling. He’s the hottest hitter in baseball since mid-May, and Martinez set himself up to fail.
Despite a rally from the Nats in the top of the ninth to tie the game, Koda Glover couldn’t hold the score. Paul DeJong took him deep to walk it off. Another gut punch for the team.
Milone struggles yet again
The Cardinals managed a mammoth 17 hits on the night, 10 of those were given up by starter Tommy Milone. The lefty once again looked very hittable and will likely be booted from the rotation soon.
This is the third start he’s struggled, around an excellent effort against the New York Mets. It looks like that start appears to be fools gold against a struggling team.
His next start is due to come against the Miami Marlins, so he should be able to at least keep his team in the game then. However, it’s not been a pretty major league stint for Milone.
Harper and Soto do a bash brothers impression
Despite the sub-par pitching and managing the Nats offense is still performing much better. This was highlighted by Bryce Harper and Juan Soto hitting home runs in the game.
Harper’s 29th bomb of the season put the Nationals 2-1 up early on and he continues to tear the cover off the ball. Since the All-Star break, he’s hitting .333, with six homers, 18 RBI and has a 1.099 OPS. He looks like the Harper of old now, which can only be a good thing.
Soto, on the other hand, had actually been in a 0 for 9 “slump” lately but broke out of that with yet another opposite field home run. He continues to cement his position as the favorite for NL rookie of the year despite some recent competition elsewhere in the league.
Davey Martinez said after the game that he didn’t know what to do. Well, the Washington Nationals playoff hopes are close to dead and buried now, so he needs to think of something.