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Real or not? The Nationals are in trouble, and so is Dave Martinez

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That was published before the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Washington Nationals 6-0 on Tuesday with a six-run seventh inning and five scoreless innings of relief from Freddy Peralta, dropping the Nationals to 14-21 on the season and marking the first time they’ve been seven games under .500 since Sept. 19, 2011.

The big hit was Lorenzo Cain’s two-out, bases-clearing double off a tiring Stephen Strasburg that made it 3-0. With Strasburg clearly laboring after a hit batter and two base hits and the resulting turn of events, the blame game turned more to manager Dave Martinez than Strasburg’s failure to escape the jam. While Martinez’s reluctance to turn to his bullpen was understandable, considering the way the pen has pitched most of the season, Strasburg was clearly pitching on fumes. That’s not post-double reaction. I saw tweets in real time wondering why Martinez left Strasburg in to face Eric Thames (he did strike him out) and Cain before those at-bats unfolded.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

The Nationals have now lost six consecutive series — to the Brewers, Phillies, Cardinals, Padres, Rockies and Marlins. Given the disappointing start and the disappointing 2018 season, it seems fair to suggest that Martinez Watch has begun. If the Nationals don’t turn it around soon, don’t be surprised if he’s the first manager fired in 2019.4

Mike Rizzo hired Martinez to replace Baker because Baker couldn’t get the team past the first round of the playoffs (and to get a younger manager more in tune with the changing analytics of the modern game). But can Martinez even get the Nationals to the playoffs?nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Yes, injuries have played a big part in the slow start, with Trea Turner, Juan Soto, Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Adams currently on the IL and Anthony Rendon just back from it. The front office didn’t help Martinez by building a questionable bullpen, and the Brian Dozier and Anibal Sanchez signings have not worked out yet.

The Nationals also do dumb things such as calling up Carter Kieboom to play shortstop. I get that he was off to a hot start at Fresno and he is a good prospect, but I saw him play a couple games in spring training on TV, and it was pretty clear that this kid was in no way ready to play shortstop in the majors. Kieboom, predictably, was a disaster in the field, with minus-6 defensive runs saved in just 10 games, including four errors (a couple of which were critical, run-causing miscues). Oh, he also hit .128. He was overmatched. After a two-out error led to an unearned run in Monday’s loss, the Nationals sent him back to Fresno. He never should have been up this soon in the first place.

So that’s on the front office. Some of the other stuff is on Martinez. From what I’ve seen from Nationals fans on Twitter, they are not impressed with his year-plus on the job. Mostly, of course, it’s on the players. But you can’t fire them.

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