The Dodgers got the broom out and swept the Washington Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg had a 2-1 lead at one point and exited with a 3-2 deficit at the 6 2/3 mark in the game. The Nationals offense just could not put much together except a 2-run home run from Trea Turner. The Nationals managed 4-hits on the day and 3-walks. Manager Dave Martinez noticed the obvious that certainly players were swinging at balls out of the zone and had walks they could have taken. One of those was Michael Taylor who had one at-bat that he swung at 3 out of the zone.
“Take our walks and get on base for the next guy,” Dave Martinez said.
For hitters, you have to be willing to help yourself and get into hitter’s counts of 2-0 and 3-1 and some would say 3-2, but do not assume that you are getting a grooved strike in any of those counts. The Dodgers advanced scouts once again had the Nationals figured out except for Trea Turner, Wilmer Difo and Mark Reynolds who were the best Nationals batters this weekend — and the word “best” is just saying the best three of the position players.
“Still trying to lock it in to get more consistent,” Trea Turner said. “I got into better counts today.”
That is the key to stay out of 2-strike counts and make it count in hitter’s counts which Turner did today. He went 2-for-4 with the 2-run home run and a single and missed another home run by a few feet that Bellinger made his best defensive play on.
Some of the Nats issues this weekend were poor swings and approaches, but they also saw Bryce Harper’s batting average drop to .224 with another 0-fer and Michael Taylor dropped to .181.
Once again the Nationals bullpen was torched and put the game almost out of reach as both Wander Suero and Shawn Kelley each gave up 2-runs.
The Nationals will face the Padres in a 3-game series starting tomorrow and the Padres will pitch two lefties to start the next two games. We will see if Juan Soto gets a start in one of those games. He entered today’s game as a switch hitter and struck out, and in getting this at-bat he is officially the youngest player in Major League Baseball today.
On to tomorrow.