September 17, 2021

Davey Martinez rolls the dice again, but this time the house wins (The Athletic)

WASHINGTON — Five months of 7-11s, one night of snake eyes.

Davey Martinez has rolled the dice expertly for weeks now, and his demeanor and patience with his team is one of the biggest reasons the Nationals are in the World Series. But he swung and missed Saturday, just as his players have done with alarming increase the last two games.

Martinez opted not to bring in either of his top two relievers, Daniel Hudson or Sean Doolittle, to face the heart of Houston’s batting order in a high-leverage relief situation in the seventh with two on and one out in what was then a 4-1 Astros lead. Instead, he went to 42-year-old Fernando Rodney for a second straight night. Friday, Rodney was terrific. But Saturday, he was not, and the decision blew up in his manager’s face.

Rodney surrended a single up the middle to Michael Brantley to load the bases, then got smoked on an 0-1 pitch to cleanup hitter Alex Bregman, who clubbed a grand slam to left and ended…

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