Manager Davey Martinez did have a bit of a restless night, but came to the conclusion that he would keep Mark Reynolds and his scorching bat in the Nationals lineup. He placed Reynolds at third base and has given Anthony Rendon the day off to rest.
Reynolds is 8-for-12 with three homers and 12 RBIs with two walks and six runs scored during the homestand.
“Had to sleep on that one,” Martinez said. “But Anthony could use a day off. I told him half a day. Hopefully we don’t need him, but he will be available.”
Martinez said the club is not losing anything on defense as Reynolds has shown he can work the glove well on the hot corner. He made the second-to-last out of the game last night at third base. Playing third base June 25 in St. Petersburg, Fla., against the Rays, he made all three outs on defense to end the eighth inning.
“He’s really good. He catches the balls,” Martinez said. “You saw the plays he made in Tampa. So why not? He’s swinging the bat. He’s red-hot right now. Anthony could use a day. Perfect timing.”
With Reynolds remaining in the lineup, the middle of the order displays ultimate power for the Nats with Juan Soto, Bryce Harper, Reynolds and Matt Adams in the third through sixth spots in the lineup. Then, Daniel Murphy slides all the way to No. 7, a spot he never hit from last season. Murphy has had only two plate appearances in just one game from the seven-hole this season.
“Yeah, last few days, it’s been fun. We have length in our lineup, which is nice. Every day you write these guys names out there expect for them to do their job and so far the last few days they’ve done well.”
* Closer Sean Doolittle has a strained toe, but the skipper does not believe it is a major concern.
“He’s good. He’s going out there to throw right now,” Martinez said. “Yesterday he had a day off. He has a little bit of a strained toe. But he said he feels OK.”
* Right-hander Tanner Roark has been searching recently for what is causing him issues in getting hitters out. Roark has lost four decisions in a row and has surrendered six or more runs in two of his last three starts. Martinez said Roark’s focus today will be to keep the ball down in the zone.
“I want to see him attack the zone early in counts and his secondary pitches have to be sharp,” Martinez said. “
“When he’s down, he’s really, really down. Because when he’s down, you can’t tell whether it’s a fastball, two-seam fastball, four-seam fastball or a slider. Everything works well when he’s down (in the zone). So I’m looking forward to watching him go out there today and compete and be the Tanner I know he can be.”
* Catcher Matt Wieters made it through his first rehab game last night for Double-A Harrisburg. Martinez said he expects Wieters to go six or seven innings again today. Wieters went 1-or-4 with a double and an RBI last night at Bowie.
“He did well. He’s going to play again today and then we’ll go from there. He played really well. He said he felt great which is nice. Ran a couple balls out to first base and had no issues. Felt great catching. Hit the ball fairly well. We’ll see what happens today.”
* Martinez did not confirm that right-hander Stephen Strasburg will be in Lynchburg, Va., on Tuesday night with high Single-A Potomac for his first rehab game. The skipper said the Nats will make their decision on Strasburg’s first rehab start location after the game today.
* Martinez said he did not like seeing catcher Pedro Severino flipping his bat after his home run Saturday against the Marlins.
“I did not like that. We talked about that, too. I’m not a big fan of that,” Martinez said. “I get these guys that hit a lot of home runs whatever, but when you have two, the bat flip doesn’t play. He knows about that now.”
But Martinez has been impressed with how Severino has put together a few good swings recently as he tried to get more consistent at the plate. He has two homers and four RBIs in the series with a walk and two runs scored. The three RBIs last night are a career high for the 24-year-old backstop.
“Yeah, he’s swinging the bat better,” Martinez said. “More importantly for me, it’s his game calling and the way he handles the pitching staff. That’s more important to me than ... but I’m glad to see that his bat is coming around. He’s working really hard with (hitting coach Kevin) Long, trying to shorten his swing a little bit and just get on top of the baseball and hit line drives. He missed a couple of balls, too, yesterday that were really good.”
Update: Right-hander Tanner Roark has struggled, allowing seven hits and three runs through three innings.
J.T. Realmuto had a two-run single and Cameron Maybin an RBI hit in the second inning.
After three innings, the Marlins lead the Nats, 3-2.
Update II: JT Riddle added a run-scoring single in the fourth. Roark lasted four innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits with three walks and five strikeouts. He hit two batters. He threw 102 pitches, 62 for strikes. It marks the third start out of his last five he has not completed the fifth inning.
Mid-fourth, the Marlins lead the Nats 4-2.
Update III: The Markins added two runs in the seventh off of Justin Miller. Derek Dietrich and Realmuto provided RBI singles.
Mid-seventh, the Marlins lead the Nats 6-2.
Update IV: The Marlins tacked on four more runs in the ninth. They finished with a season-high 22 hits. Reynolds pitched the final out of the ninth, getting Bryan Holaday out on a grounder to first base.
Reynolds singled in the ninth. He finished with a double, a single and a walk.
Final score: Marlins 10, Nats 2.
The loss was the first against Miami in 15 games, dating to Aug. 9, 2017. The Nats head to Pittsburgh to begin a seven-game road trip on Monday.