Washington Nationals’ starter Joan Adon, 23, gave up 13 hits, seven walks, and 10 earned runs in his first two starts and nine innings pitched this season, but then put it all together in his third turn in the rotation, throwing 6 1⁄3 scoreless in which he gave up three hits and two walks with five strikeouts in the relatively efficient 88-pitch effort.
“I think overall things went well for me because I was really, really focused out there,” Adon said after start No. 3, against the Arizona Diamondbacks in D.C.
“I was just a lot more confident out there,” he added, “.. and I saw the weather, very cold, and a lot of times the hitters don’t want to swing when it’s in a cold climate, so I was just trying to take advantage of that and really pound the zone.”
“Yesterday was a big step forward for him,” Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies the day after Adon’s third outing last week.
“I think he threw like [65%] strikes, which is what we’re looking for out of him, because his stuff is really good, he’s pitching at 95-96 MPH with a good breaking ball and a changeup that’s in progress.”
Watching his outings, Rizzo said, you can, “... see him taking his steps forward each and every time.”
Start No. 4 was something of a step back for Adon, with Joc Pederson homering to left on the fourth pitch of the game, and the Giants adding another run in the first, 2-0, before adding two in the second as well, 4-1, after the Nationals got on the board with a two-out rally the first time up for the home team.
Adon held it there, retiring seven in a row after an RBI triple by Brandon Belt which drove in the fourth run the starter allowed, before a leadoff double by Pederson in the fifth ended his outing in what ended up a 12-3 loss.
Joan Adon’s Line: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 70 P, 45 S, 5/2 GO/FO.
Adon threw 64% strikes, but he didn’t miss many bats (seven swinging strikes, five with his fastball, two with his changeup), or fool many batters (ten called strikes, nine with his fastball and one with his curve), and he had to get past a player (Lucius Fox) vomiting behind the mound when he felt sick at third and didn’t make it to the dugout, but overall, manager Davey Martinez liked what he saw from his starter.
“It was — he was a little bit weirded out by [Fox vomiting],” Martinez said.
“He threw up behind the mound. It was probably very uncomfortable for [Adon], but I thought he handled himself well.”
“I was just trying to stay focused out there after that incident,” Adon said, via interpreter Octavio Martinez, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“And trying to do everything I can to help the team win today.”
There were runners on early against him, however, so he was pitching under some pressure from the start, and his pitch count got up there again, which, when combined, led to Adon making a relatively early exit.
“Once again, he had a bunch of high-leverage situations early, his pitch count got up there,” Martinez said, “so we thought it was the perfect time [to go get him in the fifth] — look, we had a chance to hold the game right there, come back and see if we could score some more runs, we just couldn’t score any more runs.”