Fresh off a series loss to the New York Yankees, the Washington Nationals returned home to host the Philadelphia Phillies. And they dropped that series as well. Just like the series in the Bronx, the Nationals were in position to take two of three games (if not all three in NY). Instead, instead they were lucky to salvage the final game of the set before hitting the road for Arizona.
As the Nationals look up at the rest of the teams in the National League East, it’s time to make a few adjustments on the fly.
Losers of four of their last six games the Washington Nationals need to commit to a few changes.
Move Starlin Castro to the leadoff spot.
Manager Davey Martinez switched the eighth and ninth spots in the batting order, moving the pitcher to the eight spot with the hopes the nine hitter would get on base and allow Trea Turner and Juan Soto more opportunities to hit with runners on base. Why not just put the hottest hitter in the leadoff spot and bump Turner and Soto down a notch.
Starlin Castro was 7-12 against the Phillies, with a walk. In the extra-inning loss, Castro was in the six spot and collected four hits. That type of production is better suited for the top off the order rather than the middle-to bottom of the order. Especially if the pitcher is going to bat two spots below him.
Running his hitting streak to eleven games, Castro had a streak of five games within the eleven where he earned a walk as well. He’s getting on base. The Nationals need to take advantage of this.