Trevor Rosenthal missed inside to Charlie Blackmon with the first pitch he threw, a 98 MPH fastball, but he didn’t miss with the second.
Rosenthal nailed Blackmon with the second pitch he threw, putting the leadoff man on in the bottom of the eighth inning of Wednesday afternoon’s series finale with the Colorado Rockies in Coors Field, issued a walk to the second batter, Trevor Story, with three of five pitches not even close to the zone.
He uncorked two wild pitches, as well, the first moving the runners into scoring position, and the second and allowing one to score.
Nolan Arenado hit an RBI single off him with one out, took second on a third wild pitch, and scored on an RBI single by David Dahl.
Rosenthal took the mound in a 6-3 game and after recording three outs on 31 pitches, 16 of them strikes, it was 9-3 Rockies in what ended up a 9-5 win for the home team.
“I feel good, and I feel like I’m really close,” Rosenthal told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman after the game. “It’s just getting over that hump. I think it’ll happen soon. It’s just a matter of continuing to get in there and keep working.”
Only 12 of 23 four-seam fastballs were in the strike zone, and three of six changeups. He’s now given up seven hits, nine walks, and 12 earned runs in three innings on the mound.
Nats’ manager Davey Martinez was asked if Rosenthal’s continuing struggles, as he tries to find it again after a year-plus off following Tommy John surgery, were affecting the morale of his teammates.
“We’ve got to get Rosie in the game,” Martinez explained. “We’ve got to see what he can do.
“At this point, he just doesn’t look right right now, so we’ve got to figure something out. I know we need him, but we’ve got to figure out what’s going on and get him right.”
By “not right” did he mean he thought there was a physical issue?
“I’ve got to really sit down and talk to him and see what’s going on,” the second-year skipper said.
“I’m not going to make assumptions, and we’ll go from there, but we need him.
“He hasn’t pitched in a week. We were hoping that he could keep the game right there. If he does and it’s 6-3, it’s a different scenario, but we need him to pitch.”
With the manager hesitant to use Rosenthal in any close games at this point, it’s putting the burden on the other relievers.
“When you have seven guys,” Martinez said, “he’s got to be part of those seven, he really does. He looked like he threw the ball better, he was around the strike zone, he threw a couple balls, but the walks as we always say, the walks kill you.”
Walks, wild pitches, beanballs. They all hurt. Your own team and opposing hitters.