The Nationals aren’t just battling the Tampa Bay Rays on the field on Wednesday afternoon. They’re also up against the heat.
At first pitch, it’s expected to be 95 degrees with a “feels like” of 105 degrees in the District.
Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez said the key is to keep the team hydrated, something he noted the training staff is “all over.”
“The biggest thing is starting pitching,” Martinez told reporters before the game Wednesday. “It’s making sure he’s well hydrated before he goes out there.”
Left-handed pitcher Jon Lester will be on the mound for the Nationals and he won’t have any limitations on innings from Martinez.
“I’m not going to put any limitations on him,” Martinez said of Lester. “He’s a guy that’s done this before, he understands what he needs to do to prepare.”
Martinez said he’ll keep an eye on all of his players, but catcher Yan Gomes and Lester will be a priority. Gomes will be a focus due to wearing the catching gear in the heat.
The Nationals didn’t take batting practice on Wednesday afternoon and it was optional for players earlier in the week due to the heat.
“The last couple of days I’ve kept them off the field as much as possible. We try to do a lot more work in the cages and stuff, but really lightening the load because it’s so hot.”