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Austin Voth believes he’s making progress, but Washington Nationals’ starter struggles again...

Austin Voth has a lot of advice in his head, but he blocked it all out in Friday’s start against the Braves...

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Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves - Game One Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

“Front side was a little too low,” Austin Voth explained. “They want me to get glove-side a little big higher. And my arm angle has been kind of creeping low as well, I’m like low 3/4s, so they want me to kind of have a higher arm angle, compared to what, like I was last year.”

Voth was telling reporters what the Washington Nationals’ coaches had him working on in-between starts after he struggled his last time out before going up against the Braves in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader in Atlanta.

Davey Martinez told reporters that he and his staff needed to reassess what was going on with their No. 5 starter after the Washington Nationals’ 28-year-old righty gave up six hits and five earned runs in two innings of work last weekend in Fenway Park.

“We’ve got to reassess what’s going on with him. He’s just falling behind, I don’t think he’s pitching aggressive enough,” Martinez said.

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves - Game One Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

“I’m going to talk to him again and see where we’re at, but we need to get more out of him.”

Martinez decided to stick with Voth as the No. 5 starter in the club’s rotation, however, as he explained before the finale in Philadelphia on Thursday.

“He’s gone through a funk,” the manager said.

“I watched his bullpen the other day, we worked on some things, so hopefully he goes out there and with a seven-inning game, if he can give us 4-5 good innings, we should be in good shape. So, I just want him to be more — they talked to him a lot about being more aggressive in the strike zone, not to nitpick too much.”

With all those suggestions on fixes and mechanical tweaks swirling in his head, Voth said he decided to throw it all out and just go out and pump strikes and compete.

“Yeah, I mean, today was a day about me just going out there and competing,” he said after giving up five runs on seven hits (three of them home runs) in 4 23 IP in Truist Park. “I need to stop thinking about all the mechanics and whatnot, because it’s something that — it’s not about mechanics anymore, it’s just about going out there and competing and hitting locations and getting outs basically.”

Voth got ahead of Ronald Acuña, Jr. in the first at bat of the game, but left a 1-2 curve up a bit outside, and the Braves’ slugger hit it out on the wind to center field, and to even Acuña’s surprise (he tossed his bat down in anger on contact) it went over the wall for a leadoff blast and a 1-0 lead.

Acuña, Jr. walked to start the third, and scored on the second home run of the day off Voth, when Dansby Swanson hit a first-pitch curve out to left-center field for a two-run shot, 3-0.

There was a runner on and two out when Acuña, Jr. stepped up again in the fourth and hit a 2-1 cutter out to center for a two-run shot that made it 5-1 Braves.

Austin Voth’s Line: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 Ks, 3 HRs, 88 P, 59 S, 3/1 GO/FO.

How did Voth assess his seventh start of the 2020 campaign?

“Progress,” he said. “It’s definitely not what I want, but today I just wanted to go out there and throw out mechanics and just compete. And I felt like I did that. I felt like I went out there and I just had a plan to attack, attack, attack, missed some locations, paid on those, and I gave it my all today, but definitely not the end result that I wanted, but I think I’m slowly getting there. Fastball is coming out really good, curveball location right now, for a strike, I’m not commanding it very well, for an out-pitch, that’s the one pitch that I can have as my out pitch, and the slider/changeup I just haven’t been able to locate those for strikes in the zone. I can throw those out of the zone, but just not in the zone right now.”

In the end, as much as everyone is trying to help with their suggestions and potential fixes, he said he just needed to clear his head and throw.

“I’ve had so many people come up to me and kind of try to help me, and tell me, you need to do this, you need to do this,” Voth said.

“So I’ve been focusing on those things but I can’t focus on everything on the mound at once.

“I have to focus on just basically hitting my spots and competing while I’m on the mound. I can’t just think about everything.

“It became something where I just wanted to go out there and focus on one thing, which was throwing strikes, and that’s what I did.”

“I thought Voth threw the ball better,” Martinez said. “His velo was better, his command was a tick off, I told him today that he’s got to start utilizing his curveball a little bit more, but I think overall he threw the ball better so hopefully we’re heading in the right direction.”