Davey Martinez said he and the Washington Nationals’ staff would be watching Stephen Strasburg closely to see if the lingering nerve issue in his right wrist was bothering him during his second start of the season tonight in Baltimore, MD’s Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
“We got to be smart about this,” Martinez said, after the issue which delayed the start of Strasburg’s season cropped up again in the right-hander’s 2020 debut last week.
“If he’s out there and he starts shaking his hand all over the place, we’re going to have to do something else.”
Sure enough, after 16 pitches, and a number of hand shakes and frustrated grimaces, the manager and head trainer Paul Lessard had a brief conversation with the starter on the hill and then pulled the plug on his outing.
That’s the bad news. The good news?: Nationals 15-3 over the Orioles in the first of three in OPACY.
Strasburg vs the O’s: Stephen Strasburg made his MLB debut against the Orioles in D.C. last Sunday, giving up seven hits and five runs in 4 1⁄3 IP, with five of the hits and all five runs that the Orioles scored coming in his final inning of work in the fifth, when he struggled through seven matchups and threw 26 pitches before his manager went to the bullpen.
“I think at the end there he just started getting the ball up, but the first few innings he was cruising, he was doing well,” Davey Martinez told reporters after the game ended up being suspended.
Strasburg left a 2-0 fastball up for Anthony Santander in a one-out at bat in the opener of the Nationals’ three-game series in Oriole Park tonight, and the O’s slugger hit a towering solo shot over the high wall to put the home team up early, 1-0. He got one more out on a ground ball to second, but two pitches into the third AB, after some uncomfortable-looking hand shakes on the mound, manager Davey Martinez and trainer Paul Lessard visited the mound and pulled the plug...
Milone vs the Nationals: Former Nationals’ starter Tommy Milone held the Nats scoreless in six innings of work on the mound last weekend in the nation’s capital, giving up just three hits in what ended up an 11-0 win for the Orioles.
Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez talked after the outing about not liking the approach his hitters took against the soft-tossing southpaw.
“When you get a guy that doesn’t throw very hard and you know he’s a changeup guy, you really got to stay in the middle of the field. We talk about it all the time,” Martinez said.
“You almost feel like you should get jammed. You got to use the whole field. I think he started throwing his changeup and we were out in front of everything today.”
Facing Milone for the second time in a week this afternoon, the Nationals went down in order in the first, but Yan Gomes stepped in with two on and two out in the second and lined an 0-1 changeup to right where right field Anthony Santander made an ill-advised diving attempt and came up empty, allowing two runs to score, 2-1. Triple for Gomes.
Trea Turner singled to start the third, and took third on a grounder by Asdrúbal Cabrera when Hanser Alberto booted a potential double play grounder at second, and scored a batter later when Juan Soto grounded into a force at second, 3-1.
Soto stole second and scored on a jam-shot to right by Howie Kendrick that fell in for a hit, 4-1, and after a single by Luis García, who connected for his first major league hit, Carter Kieboom drove Kendrick in with a line drive to left, 5-1.
Victor Robles and Trea Turner hit back-to-back singles off Milone in the first two at bats of the fourth, and both runners moved up on an Adam Eaton bunt, before Robles scored on Asdrúbal Cabrera’s sac fly in the next AB, 6-1.
Tommy Milone’s Line: 4.0 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks, 74 P, 52 S, 8/2 GO/FO.
Luis Garcia Debuts: With Carter Kieboom in the majors from the start this season, Luis García, 20, was the top-ranked prospect (pitcher or position player) in the system. He’d been added to the taxi squad for the current road trip, and when Starlin Castro broke a wrist (the right one) in this afternoon’s completing of the suspended game from Sunday afternoon in D.C., the Nationals called the kid up and Davey Martinez penciled him in at second base, batting sixth for his MLB debut.
García grounded into a force at second in his first big league at bat, and scored one out later on Yan Gomes’s two-run triple.
The second time up he choked up with two strikes and lined a 1-2 slider into left-center for his first MLB hit. Congrats, Luis.
BULLPEN ACTION: Erick Fedde, who threw 32 pitches in a two-inning relief appearance in New York earlier this week, was called upon again tonight after Stephen Strasburg’s night ended early.
Fedde got the final out of the first two pitches, then worked around a two-out walk in a 12-pitch second.
A 10-pitch, 1-2-3 third left him at 24 total after 2 1⁄3 scoreless, and a 15-pitch fourth in which he worked around a one-out walk pushed him up to 39 in 3 1⁄3.
Lefty Keegan Akin replaced Milone in the top of the fifth, and retired the Nats in order in a 12-pitch frame.
Fedde was up to 56 pitches after worked around a walk in the O’s half of the fifth, and then stranded a leadoff single in a 13-pitch sixth which left him at 69 pitches in 5 1⁄3 scoreless.
Asdrúbal Cabrera hit his fourth home run of the season to right-center off Akin in the top of the seventh, 7-1.
Asdrúbal Cabrera rejoined the Nats on August 6, 2019.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 15, 2020
Since that day exactly 5 players in @MLB have more RBIs:
Alex Bregman - 59
Matt Olson - 58
Jose Abreu - 57
Kyle Seager - 56
Nelson Cruz - 54
Asdrúbal Cabrera - 53#NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/SFw1PUpk10
Will Harris returned to the mound for the Nationals in the seventh and gave up a two-out walk and an RBI double, with Austin Hays taking the free pass and scoring on the hit by Hanser Alberto, 7-2.
Carter Kieboom got hit by a pitch in the first at bat of the eighth, and he took third on a Yan Gomes’ double, then scored one out later on an RBI single by Trea Turner, 8-2. Adam Eaton singled in the at bat that followed to drive Gomes in, 9-2. Juan Soto singled to drive in run No. 10, with Turner scoring, 10-2, and Howie Kendrick’s sac fly brought Eaton home, 11-2.
Luis García’s second MLB hit was a two-run double to right on a 95 MPH 1-1 fastball from O’s righty Cody Carroll, 13-2.
Ryne Harper, who was sent to the Alternate Training site this afternoon, then came back as the 29th man for tonight’s game, gave up a run on a two-out single by Dwight Smith, who drove Andrew Velazquez in two outs after his leadoff double, 13-3.
Victor Robles doubled off Carroll in the ninth and scored on a double to right field by Adam Eaton, 14-3. Eaton scored on an RBI single by Michael A. Taylor, 15-3.
Harper came back out to (hopefully/fingers crossed) wrap this thing up, and retired the O’s in order to mercifully end it. Final Score: Nationals 15-3 over Orioles.
Nationals now 7-10