The “CAUTION BE ALERT” sign in the foreground can be seen just before Ronald Acuña Jr. unleashed the decisive 2-run homer; Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats
When will it end? The Washington Nationals enter this game stuck in a 6-game losing streak, and the blurred lines of managerial strategy and two costly mistake pitches that turned into a pair of 2-run homers were the big difference in this one.
The media never asked manager Dave Martinez if he considered walking Ronald Acuña Jr. at all this weekend when he had first base open and other bases occupied. In the second inning in a 3-1 game and a long second inning, did Martinez think about walking Acuna with two outs and a runner on third base with a lefty on-deck? Of course Acuna smashed a 2-run homer to ratchet the score to 5-1, and afterwards Gore struck-out the lefty.
“Just a bad [second] inning. I made some bad pitches. … I got to do a better job of keeping the ball in the ballpark. I didn’t do that today. … It’s tough to win when they score five that early.”— MacKenzie Gore said after the game to the media about his bad inning
Maybe this all gets filed in the fact that you aren’t as bad as you look when you’re losing just like the opposite when you are winning. Few things worked for the Nats in the past week. It just magnifies the blown saves even more. But trying to claw back from a 4-run deficit early in the game was just too much. The Nats tried and fell short by a final score of 6-4.
Things don’t get any easier today. Trevor Williams is on the mound today for the Nats, and Bryce Elder for the Braves. He has been the Braves best pitcher in their current roster formation. The Nats fly to Houston after this game for a 3-game series against the Astros. The schedule isn’t getting easier. There is a day-off tomorrow for the team before the Houston series start on Tuesday.
“We tried to come back. We fell short a little bit. ”— manager Dave Martinez said after yesterday’s game
Here is how they rank:
Maybe part of the desperation of a team in a long losing streak is that Martinez announced that the team is skipping their No. 5 starter, Jake Irvin, in the rotation and will go with Patrick Corbin on Tuesday for the opener in Houston followed by Josiah Gray and Gore, all on regular rest.
Here is your Baseball Savant Statcast link for the game.
Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves
Stadium: Truist Park, Georgia
1st Pitch: 1:35 pm EDT
Radio: 106.7 The Fan radio and via the MLB app
Line-up subject to change (without notice):