Washington just completed a five-game series against their divisional rival, Miami Marlins, which went in the Marlins favor. What stood out the most?
The 9-12 Nationals entered their five-game series against the Marlins in need of a huge weekend Instead, the team put together more of the same, flashes of excellence followed by disappointment. Miami went on to win the series, 3-2. Dave Martinez kept his starters out too long, the offense continued to stay inconsistent, the starting rotation took turns putting together solid outings, and the bullpen did what it could. Here are three takeaways from the five-game series.
Yan Gomes Bat Has Come Alive
After a down year at the plate in 2019, Yan Gomes once again started off cold at the plate. But, he has finally found his stride against the Marlins, which bodes well for the team moving forward. On the season he is hitting .261, with two homers, and seven RBIs. Both of his homers came in this series, in back to back games no less. Gomes played in three games this series, going 4 for12, with two homers, and two RBIs. He also scored four runs, but unfortunately, the Nats lost all three games he played in.
Anibal Sanchez Is Back?
Entering his start against the Marlins, Anibal Sanchez was 0-3, with an 8.50 ERA. The veteran was able to channel his vintage self, and threw seven innings and only allowed one run. He gave up five hits, walked none, and struck out five. The biggest takeaway from his outing was his accuracy. This was the first time all season, Sanchez didn’t issue a walk. 62 of his 92 pitches were strikes and to no surprise, this led to Sanchez having his best outing of the season. It is way too early to claim Sanchez is back, but this was a promising start. Now he just needs to build off of it.
Dave Martinez Kept His Pitchers In Too Long
Max Scherzer. Dakota Bacus. Austin Voth. Dave Martinez kept all three in for too long during their respective outings and the results were damaging. Scherzer was the starter for game one of the doubleheader. Entering the fifth inning, Scherzer was on cruise control and the team was up 5-0. Scherzer was only able to get two outs and gave up four runs in that inning. Martinez kept Scherzer in, well because he’s Max Scherzer. Martinez had plenty of opportunities to pull him early and instead he kept rolling with his ace. Most of the time this would be the right decision, but this season Scherzer hurt his hamstring which caused him to miss a start.
Austin Voth was the losing pitcher in the rubber match. He allowed six runs and only lasted 3.2/3 innings. However, this was also avoidable. Voth was laboring after three innings and had loaded the bases in the third. He only allowed one run to score and he was able to escape major damage. Martinez kept him on the mound for the fourth and the 28-year-old quickly ran into trouble. He allowed a second run to score and had two on with two out. Martinez chose to allow Voth an opportunity to escape the jam. Unfortunately, he was unable to accomplish the task. Martinez should have pulled the plug early and have gone to the bullpen at the first sign of trouble.
Dakota Bacus allowed a two-run homer in the seventh and was showing signs of not being himself. Martinez brought him out for the eighth and he faced three batters. He got only one out and allowed two doubles. Bacus was charged with four earn runs and it led to the Marlins lead being too big for the Nats to overcome. Martinez has been too loyal to his pitchers and it has cost the team runs.