Adon vs the Marlins - Round 2:
Joan Adon held Miami’s Marlins scoreless over six innings last week in loanDepot park, striking out three without walking a batter in a 7-4 win for Washington.
“Man, his fastball was good, his breaking ball was good,” Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters in discussing Adon’s outing. “His changeup, his changeup was really, really good today. It made all the other pitches that much better. He attacked the zone, and when he does that he’s really effective, and he pitched really well for us and we were able to get a win.”
“All my five pitches were working today,” Adon said after the start, as quoted by MASN’s Bobby Blanco.
“I felt like all five of them were working today very well.”
Martinez said he’s seen tremendous growth from the 25-year-old pitcher this season, even before the latest stint as a part of the big league rotation.
“Even when he was coming out of the bullpen for us earlier, I saw a big difference in him,” he explained. “His demeanor, his maturity, and he went back down, he worked on some things we asked him to do, and now he’s getting an opportunity to pitch every five or six days, and has done well.”
How would he fare going up against the Marlins in consecutive starts? Not as well.
Adon gave up back-to-back singles to start the game, and two outs later, Bryan De La Cruz drove a run in with an RBI double on a 2-0 sinker up De La Cruz lined out to left field, off of the wall on a hop.
Two singles and a hit batter loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, and Luis Arraez’s soft pop to second was trapped by Michael Chavis at second, and he tossed to second to get one out before CJ Abrams threw to third for a double play, but a run scored as on the play, 2-0, and Jazz Chisholm, Jr. hit a three-run blast in the fifth (after a single and another HBP), to put the Fish up 5-0 in what ended up a 6-1 win.
Adon did record 11 swinging and 11 called strikes on the night, threw 84 pitches total in his five innings, 50 of them for strikes, and ended up allowing nine hits, a walk, and those five runs, all earned.
“Adon couldn’t repeat his delivery, struggled a little bit,” Martinez said after the Nats’ series-opening loss.
“He just couldn’t repeat his mechanics,” the sixth-year skipper explained. “His arm was lagging a little bit on some pitches, that’s why I think he got a little wild, so we’ll get him back and get him squared away. His last outing he was — as we all saw — he was really good. This time he fell behind a lot, and just couldn’t it all together, his rhythm was off a little bit, his tempo was a little off as well, so [Pitching Coach Jim Hickey] will talk to him, we’ll get him back to throw his bullpen, and get him squared away.”
The manager was asked if he was surprised to see Adon struggle like he did coming off a strong start against the Marlins in Miami.
“He’s been pitching well. His changeup was good today. Out of any pitch, his changeup was good, he just got behind, and when you get behind like that, you’ve got some good hitters, you’re going to pay the price.”
His tempo, Martinez added, was too slow, in the manager’s opinion.
“His last outing, he got back on the mound, he was going, today he was kind of pacing around a little bit and taking his time a little more than usual.”
LANE THOMAS SCRATCHED:
Lane Thomas left the series finale in Toronto after seven innings when, according to what his manager said after the loss to the Blue Jays, his back tightened up on him.
“Yeah, his back tightened up on him,” Martinez explained. “He said something so I wanted to take him out right away, try to get him worked on, get him ready for tomorrow, so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow. Stuff like that happens playing on turf when you’re not used to it. Running out in the outfield, so hopefully he’s better tomorrow, he can play tomorrow.”
Thomas has played in 132 of the Nationals’ 134 games this season, starting in 130 of them, but he was a late scratch before the series opener with the Miami Marlins last night in the nation’s capital.
“We just scratched him,” Martinez told reporters. “He’s still a little bit tight, so I don’t want to take a chance. He’s gonna get worked on and hopefully, he’s available to pinch-hit.”
With the Nationals down early to the Marlins, and unable to generate much of anything on the offensive end, there was no need to press Thomas into action.
Through 571 plate appearances this year, the recently-turned 28-year-old outfielder has put up a .279/.329/.466 line with career highs in doubles (32) and home runs (20). Will Thomas be back in the lineup tonight?
HARD TO K:
Marlins’ second baseman Luis Arraez’s strikeout in last night’s game was just the 32nd K in 541 plate appearances this season (matching his walk total on the year). Nationals’ reliever Robert Garcia got Arraez to chase a 1-2 changeup out of the zone for the strikeout in the sixth inning. It was, actually, Garcia’s second strikeout of Arraez this season, after he got him looking with a low, 2-2 fastball during the series in Miami last week, which, as the Nats mentioned in their post game notes makes Garcia the only pitcher in Major League Baseball this season to strike Arraez out twice. Garcia, of course, started the season in the Marlins’ organization, pitching in one game for the Fish before he was placed on waivers by Miami and claimed by Washington.