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Washington Nationals’ starter Aníbal Sánchez doesn’t have answers right now; continues to struggle...

For the third start this season, Aníbal Sánchez got hit hard and was out early in what ended up an 11-6 loss to the Mets.

MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Mets Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Aníbal Sánchez hasn’t gotten off to the best start to the 2020 campaign, with losses in each of his first two starts heading into last night’s outing, in which he’d given up 16 hits and nine runs in 10 13 innings, for a 7.84 ERA, with hitters putting up a .340/.392/.745 line against the Washington Nationals’ 36-year-old, 15-year veteran.

Going into last night’s start, Davey Martinez talked about what he wanted to see from the starter in his third outing, which was mainly just a matter of wanting Sánchez to keep the ball down.

“That’s it, just keeping the ball down,” Martinez explained.

“When he does that he does multiple things — he throws about eight different pitches, so he can get the ball down, get it below the hitter’s zone and he’s really good.

“When he pitches up, it typically should be when it’s two strikes, kind of just a show-me pitch, so we need to get him the ball down.

“We talked about this with him before, last year, he tried to pitch up and it didn’t work out.

“We said, ‘When you were really good, everything was down.’ And he started pitching down last year and he got, really, really effective.

“Hopefully he goes out there today and he gets the ball down and he gives us the innings we need.”

[Narrator: “He didn’t do either of those things.”]

Sánchez got hit hard again in the first inning, with the Mets’ hitter teeing off on pitches up in the zone, connecting for a leadoff homer, two RBI doubles, and an RBI single, which got them back in the game after the Nationals scored three in the top of the inning, 4-3.

He held the Mets off the board in the second, but back-to-back, one-out walks and a two-out RBI single in the third ended Sánchez’s outing after 71 pitches with the Mets up, 5-3.

Aníbal Sánchez’s Line: 2.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 Ks, 1 HR, 71 P, 42 S, 1/2 GO/FO.

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Both Sánchez and his manager talked after what ended up an 11-6 loss, about what he has to do before his next outing to figure things out.

“I don’t know exactly the answer,” Sánchez said. “I don’t have it right now. I just know that I have to work better when I’m on the mound, something that I have to figure it out.

“it’s frustrating when you’re working hard and the results are not there. But it’s not the end of the world, it’s not the end of the season either, I need to prepare better for my next outing.”

“He’s not locating any of his pitches, and he’s falling behind. I haven’t seen him like that,” a concerned Martinez said.

“We got to get him right. I actually think that he may be throwing a little too much.

“He throws every day, so we’re going to talk to him tomorrow, maybe get him to not throw as much on his off days, and get back on a different routine.”

“I mean, right now — you need to try everything,” Sánchez said when informed of Martinez’s comments.

“If I had probably just one other thing that I’m going to try for my next outing, probably just rest a little bit more with my arm, working more on the game — do something different. Just change a little bit what’s going on and what I bring to the last three outings.”