Signed by Washington out of the Dominican Republic for $50K in July of 2016, Nationals’ righty Joan Adon made his major league debut in Game 162 of 162 last season, putting a solid start together, in which he struck out nine of 24 Boston Red Sox’ hitters he faced in Nationals Park, with just six hits, three walks, and two earned runs allowed over 5 1⁄3 IP.
Adon, 23, talked after the outing about the taste of big league action motivating him to return to the majors this season.
“It obviously gives me a lot of motivation to keep working hard,” he said, “... keep working hard in the offseason, and get ready for next season, and hopefully start the year with the team up here at the big league level.”
His manager, Davey Martinez, liked what he saw from Adon this spring, and as the ramp-up to the 2022 campaign wound down, the fifth-year skipper said if it was up to him he’d keep the pitcher in the majors for the start of the season.
“I like him, I really do,” Martinez said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman after Monday’s game. “I know he’s part of our process of being young, but I think he’s come a long way.
“If I had to make a decision myself, I think he’d start with us. But I’m going to go back and talk to [GM Mike Rizzo] We definitely need starters.”
Just the possibility of making the Opening Day roster had the young starter excited.
“It would be very exciting,” he said. “Obviously, I only had one start last year, so to start the season with the team would be very exciting.”
Adon made the 28-man roster as part of the starting rotation, and a stiff neck for scheduled starter Aníbal Sánchez forced Martinez to move the pitcher’s first start of ‘22 up to tonight’s game, against the New York Mets.
The right-hander started strong, with four scoreless innings on 61 pitches, working around two hits and two walks, but he gave up a leadoff single by Mets’ catcher James McCann in the top of the fifth, then gave up his third free pass of the game in the next matchup, to put Brandon Nimmo on, and after a wild pitch with one out moved both runners up a base, his fourth walk of the game (this one to Francisco Lindor) loaded the bases in front of Mets’ slugger Pete Alonso, who got up 2-0 and hit a 2-1 fastball to left field for a grand slam which ended Adon’s outing, 4-0 NY.
Austin Voth took over and gave up back-to-back, two-out hits which put runners on first and third, but he got out of the inning without further damage.
Joan Adon’s Line: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 86 P, 48 S, 4/4 GO/FO.
Davey Martinez talked before tonight’s game about wanting to get relievers Kyle Finnegan and Tanner Rainey out on the mound after neither of the right-handers pitched in the first two games.
“It’s two days where we used almost everybody,” Martinez explained.
“The only guys that haven’t pitched [are] Finnegan and Rainey, and, honestly, they’ve got to pitch today, because it’s going on five days now.
“But with that being said, I’d like to have the lead when they’re in the game.”
It didn’t work out exactly how he hoped, but both relievers did get work.
Kyle Finnegan retired the side in order, striking out two in an 8-pitch, 7-strike top of the sixth inning.
Tanner Rainey struck out two and worked around a single by Jeff McNeil in a 13-pitch, 8-strike top of the seventh.
Chris Bassitt debuts for the NYM:
The Nationals’ offense did do much of anything against Mets’ starter Chris Bassitt, who went six scoreless on 93 pitches (66 strikes), giving up three hits and one walk, while striking out eight of 22 batters he faced in his debut with the Mets, after he was acquired from Oakland in a March trade.
Chris Bassitt’s Line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 Ks, 93 P, 66 S, 5/1 GO/FO.
DOOOOM: Mason Thompson, in his second appearance of the season, got three pitches into his outing tonight, before he threw one way off the plate and shook his arm out after the third offering, catching the attention of the Nationals’ dugout.
Trainer Paul Lessard came out for a quick chat and Thompson left the mound.
More info when it’s available...
Andres Machado came out and finished off the top of the eighth inning.
Maikel Franco, on the right side of the infield in the shift, missed/failed to reach a grounder off of Brandon Nimmo’s in the first at-bat of the ninth, with Machado back on the mound.
Nimmo took third on a fly to right field, and scored on a wild pitch to put the Mets up 5-0.
Nationals now 0-3