Keibert Ruiz singled, Juan Soto walked (naturally), and a hit-by-pitch on Nelson Cruz loaded the bases with one out in the first inning of the series opener last night with the New York Mets, then the Washington Nationals scored two on a Josh Bell single, and added another on a sac fly by Lane Thomas, for a 3-0 lead early in Citi Field.
“We swung the bats, we came out fired up, swung the bats, scored three runs,” manager Davey Martinez said after the game, but things went all pear-shaped in the home-half of the first, with Erick Fedde giving up two runs, then returning in the second and allowing four more that put the Nats in a hole they never climbed out of in a 13-5 loss.
Martinez was forced to lean on his bullpen, with Andres Machado (1 1⁄3), Austin Voth (1 1⁄3), Paolo Espino (3 IP), and Josh Rogers (1 IP) combining to pick up the slack after Fedde got through just 1 1⁄3 innings.
With the Nationals already in need of a starter, and one game in with eight to go on the current road trip, it could have been a complete disaster.
Asked if Fedde’s rough start affected their plans going forward, Martinez said he’d have to see what happens tonight before deciding on a starter for tomorrow’s series finale (now rumored to be Evan Lee), which, he’s said previously, could be a starter from off the 40-Man roster coming up to fill in (though Lee is on the 40-man already).
But as for how Fedde struggling affected the plans?
“I don’t even know that yet,” Martinez said. “I know that Espino came in and gave us some great length. That was awesome that he did that. He saved some of those other guys, so I wanted to get Rogers in there, get some work, and other than the home run, I thought he threw the ball really well too. The game tomorrow is going to be the [telltale], so we’ll see how the game goes tomorrow.
“We’ve got [Patrick] Corbin, who’s been throwing the ball really well, so I hope that he goes out there and gives us 5-6-7 innings, keeps us in the ballgame.
“We’re swinging the bats good, so we got to continue to do that, so we’ll come back tomorrow and try to go 1-0 tomorrow.”
Before tonight’s game, the Nats added two arms to the bullpen, calling up Francisco Pérez and Jordan Weems, and optioning Andres Machado to Triple-A Rochester. Austin Voth was designated for assignment.