Nationals salvage finale vs. Braves behind Joey Meneses, Tres Barrera

ATLANTA — When catcher Keibert Ruiz went at the injured record Sept. 9, Manager Dave Martinez mentioned that he’d break up the remainder video games behind the plate with a committee of Riley Adams, Israel Pineda and Tres Barrera.

In the ten video games prior to Wednesday’s 3-2 win over the Atlanta Braves, Adams began seven with Pineda dealing with the opposite 3. Barrera, known as up Sept. 1, used to be nonetheless looking ahead to his probability.

So on an afternoon when Joey Meneses lifted the Nationals with a two-run homer within the 7th inning into the second one deck at Truist Park to overcome the protecting World Series champions, there used to be Barrera, going 2 for 4 whilst adeptly dealing with 5 pitchers and 164 pitches behind the plate. The win allowed the Nationals (52-97) to salvage the finale of the three-game sequence.

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“I knew it was going to come at some point,” Barrera mentioned about beginning. “It’s part of it, and I just try to maintain and [stay] ready. Come with the same attitude like I was going to play every single day, and today was the day, and I had fun with it.”

The ultimate few weeks of this season are a possibility for Martinez to look who may just fill the staff’s backup catcher function to Ruiz. Adams, 26, has probably the most main league enjoy. Pineda will have probably the most upside offensively, however he’s simply 22. Both have proven flashes of energy — Adams on the main league stage, despite the fact that he’s hitting .193. Pineda has excelled within the minors after beginning the yr at prime Class A Wilmington.

Barrera, 28, suits the mould of a extra conventional, game-managing backup — robust defensively despite the fact that he lacks the pop on the plate. Barrera’s two hits Wednesday lifted his reasonable to .216 (8 for 37, with only one additional base hit and 11 strikeouts).

“Those guys that come off the bench and are only playing once or twice a week … their job is not really to go out there and hit home runs,” Martinez mentioned. “Their job is to just get on base and do the little things right. And he did that today.”

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Barrera helped the Nationals’ pitching team of workers navigate the Braves (93-56), who put starter Paolo Espino in an early hollow. Espino allowed a leadoff unmarried within the first to Ronald Acuña Jr., who reached 2d later when Espino made an errant throw on a pickoff.

Espino walked Matt Olson with two outs. Then William Contreras’s swinging bunt between Espino and Barrera resulted in a throwing error on Espino that introduced in Acuña.

An inning later, Acuña drove in a run with a two-out RBI unmarried.

Barrera opened the 3rd with an infield unmarried that ended with him diving into first base; Barrera mentioned after the sport that his momentum carried him and he nearly fell, so he slid to keep away from embarrassing himself. His 2d at-bat additionally used to be a unmarried, a blooper that fell in middle box and put runners at the corners for the Nationals within the 5th. Lane Thomas hit a sacrifice fly to chop the Braves’ result in 2-1.

Though Barrera’s stat line seemed just right, his go out velocities from his at-bats Wednesday inform a unique tale: 88.5 mph, 79.7 and 57.7 in his first 3 at-bats prior to a 94.9-mph fly out within the 8th inning.

But Barrera made his presence felt at the protection: Barrera threw out Vaughn Grissom stealing 2d to finish the 7th after Carl Edwards Jr. struck out Dansby Swanson. Then he threw out Contreras in a rundown within the 8th.

“He did really well,” Martinez mentioned. “Handled the pitching staff well, got a couple of hits. It’s just a testament about how he prepares and how he stays ready: get an opportunity to play and comes through.”

What used to be Luke Voit’s ultimate stat line on this sequence? Not nice: 1 for 12 with a unmarried, a stroll and 8 strikeouts. The Braves weren’t afraid to stand the Nationals’ cleanup hitter all over the sequence — they deliberately walked Meneses forward of him to load the bases Tuesday, and Voit flew out to finish the sport. They did the similar on Wednesday afternoon, and he grounded out to 2d base.

Martinez mentioned he desires Voit to get again to hitting the ball to right-center box.

How is Patrick Corbin feeling after exiting with again spasms? Martinez mentioned Corbin remains to be sore after exiting Tuesday’s sport with again spasms. Corbin threw simply 12 pitches prior to strolling off the sector with head instructor Paul Lessard. Martinez hopes he’ll really feel higher after a couple of extra days of remedy.

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