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Austin Voth impresses again; Nationals’ bullpen blows it in 10-1 loss to Braves...

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Austin Voth held the Braves to a run on four hits in 5 2⁄3 IP before things went all pear-shaped in the Nationals’ bullpen.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Voth went four innings against the Atlanta Braves last weekend in SunTrust Park, with three hits, two walks, and two earned runs allowed in a 75-pitch effort in which he collected six strikeouts from the 16 batters he faced.

Voth, 27, said he was happy with the way the outing went, though he was somewhat limited as he was coming off an IL stint and rehab assignment.

“Fastball command was good, slider and curveball, had a bunch of punchies on them, but overall, pretty good,” the right-hander told reporters.

The outing left Voth with a 4.00 ERA, eight walks, 30 Ks, and a .235/.310/.451 line against in six games, five starts, and 27 IP in the majors overall in 2019.

Going up against the Nationals’ NL East rivals again yesterday, in Washington, D.C. this time, the righty talked before the outing about facing the same team in consecutive starts and for the third time this season in his seventh big league appearance and sixth start.

“They have a lot of guys with power, they’ve got guys with speed, so it’s like from top to bottom, it’s tough to manage,” Voth acknowledged, though he didn’t seem too worried about facing them again so soon after the last outing.

His approach going in?

“Keep it simple,” Voth said. “I’ve been having success elevating pitches, offspeed for strikes, attacking the zone for the most part but I’m not really going to change too much.”

Voth tossed five scoreless on 65 pitches on Saturday afternoon, striking out six of the first 18 batters he faced, while working around three hits and two walks, and he got two outs in the top of the sixth, before the Nationals went to the pen after a couple well-struck balls, ‘

The runner he left on scored to tie it up at 1-1, and the Braves scored nine more against the Nats’ bullpen before it was over in a 10-1 win for the visitors.

Austin Voth’s Line: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 80 P, 53 S, 3/2 GO/FO.

Voth generated 20 swinging strikes overall out of the 80 pitches he threw, nine of them with his four-seam fastball, one with his slider, and five each with his change and curve, with 10 called strikes (eight with his four-seamer) in an impressive outing... against a team that wore the Nationals’ bullpen down.

His manager was asked after the loss about the decision to pull Voth when he did, with two out in the sixth.

“We had two outs, the ball was getting up on Voth, I went out there to talk to him, wanted to see how he’s feeling. He said he was at that point,” Martinez told reporters, after Voth said in his post-game presser following the start in Atlanta that he was good for 75-80 at this point.

“I was a little tired,” Voth said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman after the game. “I got a cut on my finger that I was dealing with, and it started to bug me a little bit. I felt like I kind of lost my legs in the fifth and sixth, kind of using my arm rather than my legs a little bit more than I wanted to. Kind of tired me a little bit more than I should’ve been at that point. I definitely had to grind through those last two innings.”

Overall, though, the Nats’ skipper said he liked what he saw from his starter.

“He threw strikes, got ahead of hitters and made his pitches,” Martinez said. “Simple. But he was really good. Really effective. His ball had a little life. Like I said, the last inning, he came out of the game. He developed a little thing on his finger as well. When I went out there he was huffing and puffing and I just asked him, you know, I didn’t motion until I talked to him, and he said, yeah, he was good.

“And with him, right about that 80-90 pitch [mark] right now, he gave us everything he had and I’m really proud of him.”

Has Voth shown enough in his last few outings that he could contribute somehow even if he doesn’t start should the Nationals make it back to the postseason?

“As we go forward, I often think about once we get there he’d be a guy that we can plop in and he can get big outs for us,” Martinez said. “He’s got good stuff, and we just got to keep him going, and like I said, giving us 80 pitches today and five-plus innings, was huge.

“We had a chance there our bullpen just couldn’t hold it down.”