Austin Voth got the nod for the Washington Nationals on Saturday night after right-hander Joe Ross experienced some sort of discomfort in his forearm while throwing in preparation to start against Atlanta’s Braves.
Voth, 27, finished the year with a 4.40 ERA and a 3.85 FIP in 61 1⁄3 innings at Triple-A Fresno, where he made 12 of his 16 starts in the Nats’ system this season, with 15 walks (2.20 BB/9), and 68 Ks (9.98 K/9) for the Grizzlies, and he’d posted a 3.91 ERA, a 4.00 FIP, six walks (2.35 BB/9), and 24 Ks (9.39 K/9) in five games, four starts, and 23 IP in the majors before taking on the NL East’s first place club again.
In his first start in the majors this summer, Voth held the Braves to two runs on six hits in a total of six innings back on June 23rd, and he was coming off 2 1⁄3 scoreless in relief in his previous appearance for the Nationals against the New York Mets this past Monday, but that outing followed a stint on the Injured List (biceps tendinitis) and some rehab outings, so he was a somewhat limited going into the start in SunTrust Park.
“I just like that matchup tomorrow,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said in announcing that Voth would get the nod with Ross unavailable, as quoted by MASN’s Byron Kerr on Friday.
“He pitched well (against them previously). He worked really hard to come back and he threw the ball well the other day as well.
“He’s good for five innings, 75-80 pitches. He threw a bullpen the other day and he came back and he said he was a little sore.”
At the start it looked like it might be a relatively brief outing, with the right-hander throwing 26 pitches and giving up a run on an Ozzie Albies’ home run in the bottom of the first, but he settled in for the next two innings, throwing scoreless frames, before giving up a one-out home run on a center-cut, first-pitch fastball to Josh Donaldson in the bottom of the fourth, 2-0 Braves.
That was it for Voth, who made it through four on 74 pitches, with 11 swinging and 11 called strikes, five of the whiffs on his curve, and five looking with his fastball, which sat at around 93 MPH and maxed out at 94.9.
Austin Voth’s Line: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 2 HRs, 74 P, 50 S, 2/2 GO/FO.
Overall, Voth said, he thought the outing, in what ended up a 5-4 loss in which he took the “L”, went “pretty well.”
“Fastball command was good, slider and curveball, had a bunch of punchies on [them], but overall, pretty good,” he said.
If the Nationals need to turn to him again, he said he’d probably be able to give them about the same that he did this time out.
“My last outing in my rehab assignment I only went 2 1⁄3 [innings]” he explained, “and that last inning, in the fourth inning [on Saturday] I lost my legs, and I was using my arm a little bit more than I wanted.”
“So maybe going forward I could maybe go five next time,” Voth said, “... but definitely 75 pitches probably cap.”