Washington Nationals’ starter Joan Adon, 23, needed just 12 pitches in a 1-2-3 first last night in Miami, but he labored in the second, giving up back-to-back, one-out singles, and a base-loading, two-out walk which loaded them up in front of catcher Nick Fortes, who hit the 95 MPH fastball Adon threw him to right field for an opposite field RBI single and a 1-0 Marlins’ lead in the bottom of the first innings in loanDepot park.
Adon fell behind Jazz Chisholm, Jr. 3-0 in the next at-bat, and threw one a little outside, at 96 MPH, but pretty much over the middle of the plate. Chisholm hit 402 ft. to center for a grand slam and a 5-0 Marlins’ lead.
Adon walked Jon Berti to start the home-half of the fourth, then barely paid attention to him stealing second base in the next at-bat. Berti took third on a single to right by Miguel Rojas, and scored on a three-run shot by Nick Fortes, who hammered a hanging, first-pitch curve up in the zone, 8-0 Marlins.
Joan Adon’s Line: 3.0 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 2 Ks, 2 HRs, 58 P, 34 S, 6/1 GO/FO.
“He fell behind some hitters,” manager Davey Martinez said what ended up a 12-2 loss to the Marlins. “He got through the first inning really well, and then all of a sudden [Avisaíl] García comes up, and he falls behind him, and I think that inning fell behind three batters, and those are — you know when you’ve got the top of the lineup coming like that, and you got bases loaded, you fall behind a guy that’s a pretty good hitter, the guy hits a home run. It’s just a tough break for him, because after the first inning I thought, ‘This is going to be a good day for him,’ but like I said, when you fall behind some of those hitters, you have to start making pitches, and throw the ball over the plate, you’re going to get hit.”
Adon got knocked around fairly hard, but Martinez didn’t let it last long
“I didn’t want him getting beat up,” the skipper said. “Look, he threw the ball well his last couple outings, I know the results aren’t what you want, but he made some strides his last few outings, so he was out there and I could tell that he was trying to find himself, and I said at that point I said, ‘Let’s just get him out of there.’”
The rookie starter finished the night with a 6.95 ERA in 12 starts and 55 2⁄3 IP on the year, and though he might not show it, it hasn’t been easy to struggle as he has so far.
“It’s something obviously very difficult, even though sometimes I might not show it,” Adon said, via interpreter Octavio Martinez, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman after the loss.
“But we’re here for a reason, to do our job. We’ve got to go out there and keep competing, and that’s all we can do.”
“He’s good, I mean, he’s working, he works hard,” Martinez added when asked how his right-hander is handling the rough outings. “He’s out there with [Pitching Coach Jim] Hickey, in-between starts, and working on different things. We changed some things in his mechanics that he feels a lot better ... he’s throwing more consistent strikes at times.
“Today was just one of those days where like I said, he fell behind, and when he got 3-0 to Chisholm, he had to throw a strike, and Chisholm beat him right there, so he’s just got to keep working, and we tell him all the time, the one thing I talked to him a little bit ago is a changeup. He didn’t throw any changeups today, and he needs to mix that in. We talk about it a lot, but he needs to start throwing his changeups more, and he hasn’t done it.”
Adon threw 40 fastballs (69%) and 18 curves (31%) on the night.
“I talked to him and he just doesn’t feel like he can throw it where he wants to, and I said, ‘You don’t have to throw it really where you want to, you just got throw it down. It’s a good pitch for you,’” Martinez continued. “We see him working on it in the bullpen and it’s a good pitch, so he’s just got to learn how to throw it. He’s really got to go out there and use all three of his pitches. As a hitter, when you can eliminate a pitch because they know you’re not going to throw it, and all of a sudden you’ve got a fastball and you’ve got a curveball, and your curveball is not really that effective like it was tonight, you know, he threw some curveballs, but one he left up for the home run, and a few others ones he threw short, so the changeup is another pitch that he can use.”