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Jackson Tetreault makes 4th start in Nationals’ rotation this afternoon...

Back-to-back solid starts for the 26-year-old right-hander…

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Jackson Tetreault, 26, made his MLB debut on June 14th against Atlanta, giving up nine hits, three of them home runs, a walk, and seven runs total in four innings, while throwing a total of 91 pitches before he was done for the day.

Tetreault, a 2017 7th Round pick by Washington, followed up on his first big league start for the Nationals with seven strong against Philadelphia in which he gave up six hits, with two walks, and three unearned runs in another 91-pitch outing, looking like he was much more comfortable in his second turn in the Nationals’ rotation.

“He worked on some things with [Pitching Coach Jim] Hickey in his bullpen,” between starts manager Davey Martinez said in advance of Tetreault’s third start up with the Nats, “... but he went out — the biggest thing for me is how poised he really was. Like I said, he was really amped up his first outing. He really settled down, and Hickey noticed a big difference in his warm-ups before the game, how composed he was, so he went out there and threw strikes, and we’re hoping he does the same thing Sunday. Just control the heartbeat.”

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Martinez said he wanted to see the rookie right-hander go out there and remain calm as he was throughout his start against the Phillies, even after he was struck by a comebacker late in the outing, and insisted he was okay to stay in the game and keep going, which he did.

“And we always talk about these young guys going out there, ‘Hey don’t try to do too much,’” Martinez said. “‘Just you be you, and just control what you can do,’ and he did that very well his last outing, and he’s a tough kid as we saw. He got hit with a line drive and I thought we were going to have to take him out, and he was adamant about staying in and finishing the inning and he did really well.”

Tetreault put together another solid start in the finale with the Rangers in Arlington, Texas on last weekend, tossing six scoreless on 87 pitches and retiring nine-straight and 14 of 15 after he completed a 1-2-3 sixth, but he returned to the mound in the seventh and gave up back-to-back hits (the 3rd and 4th off him in the outing) which put runners on second and third, and brought his manager out with the hook...

Jackson Tetreault Start No. 3: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 99 P, 57 S, 5/4 GO/FO.

One of the two runners he left on scored, but Tetreault put together another solid outing and earned another curly-W.

Working mainly with his four-seam fastball (55%) and cutter (37%), while mixing his curve (5%) and changeup (3%) in, Tetreault picked up just nine swinging strikes out of his 99 overall pitches, but got 15 called strikes (eight with his four-seamer, six with his cutter, and one on his curve), with his velocity playing up slightly on the road.

“You know the key is he goes out there, he keeps his composure and he throws strikes,” his manager said after the Nats’ 6-4 win over the Rangers. “He fell a little bit behind today on hitters, but he was able to throw that strike when he needed to, which was good, but man, like I said, this kid comes up here and he’s very much under control, he’s got a good idea what he wants to do, and he works hard every day. So, we’ll get him back out there in five days, but he’s done well.”

Martinez said he sent the rookie starter out for the seventh to see how he’d react and liked what he saw in spite of the results in Tetreault’s final inning of work.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

“Yeah. I wanted to see how he’d react,” the fifth-year skipper acknowledged.

“The good thing is he went out there, and like I said — those guys can hit, you know, but he went and threw strikes, a couple guys got on, I thought that was good enough for him.

“I mean, he was up to 100 pitches by then, but he gave us six strong innings, which was great.”

Tetreault told reporters he was good to keep going beyond the 99 pitches he threw.

“When he came out, I tried to hang onto the ball,” Tetreault joked with reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman. “But he was like: ‘You’re done.’ Alright.”

The good news is with another strong outing, Tetreault earned his spot in the Nationals’ rotation for now.

“Yes, absolutely,” Martinez said. “He’s going to get an opportunity to pitch every five days and then we’ll see where we go, but like I said, right now he’s done well, we’ll go back and look at some things, talk to him tomorrow about some different things that we saw, and then make a couple adjustments and then go from there.”

Tetreault expressed confidence he’s earned the opportunity:

“I believe I deserve to be up here, and I belong up here. Whenever I go out there, I’m just trying to compete for the team and trying to win for the team. That’s really my mentality every time I’m out there, and I’m super grateful every time Davey hands me the ball and sends me out there.”

Martinez is handing him the ball and sending him back out there today at 4:05 PM ET.