The Nationals lost another close game Tuesday night against the Padres 4-1, as the Nats bats seem to have completely disappeared.
The club combined for four hits yesterday while only scoring one run. Washington drew three walks, and struck out eight times.
Clayton Richard was the twirler for the Padres as he went 6.2 innings allowing only four hits and one earned run. While that is all good and well for Richard, it is a terrible sign for the Nationals who couldn’t get their bats going on a remarkably average starting pitcher.
Richard, who came over in the Peavy trade, has a 4.61 ERA this season. Most depressing for the Nationals, Richard traditionally has allowed many hits, boasting a career .284 opponent batting average throughout his career.
On the other side of the mound, J.D. Martin once again did all his club could possibly ask of him. The rookie pitched six strong innings, allowing five hits and only two earned runs. However Martin threw 105 pitches in only six innings, and just over half of those pitches were strikes. If Martin wants to find a permanent job in Washington he needs to become more efficient.
Two of the Nationals four hits were for extra bases, including a double by Ryan Zimmerman and a solo homer from Josh Bard.
Tim Powers of MLB.com reported that Jim Riggleman said:
"We're either hitting, or we're not, and right now, we're not hitting" You've got to find another way to win a ballgame. Part of it is that they played really well. They made plays all over the field again tonight. They robbed our guys of hits all night and stopped rallies."
“They were making good catches, It's part of baseball. It's no reason to get upset. You've just got to stay with what you're doing. Obviously, a bunch of us are hitting the ball well, just kind of at people. You can't panic. You can't change anything. You just keep working hard and going out there and playing hard every day."
Chico Harlan of the Nationals Journal wrote in his article, “Watch out J.D. Martin,” that former all star second basemen Brandon Phillips has added Martin to his hit list:
"He came up and in and I still think he did it on purpose, but it's all good," Phillips said. "We don't play them again [this year] but I'm gonna face him again. I mean I'm not trying to fight, I'm just trying to get him back for hitting me."
That name again?
"J.D. Martin," Phillips said. "You can look at my hat and his name is in there. I write names in my hat and remember who I need to get. ... Not fighting or nothing, but getting back at that dude. You give some hard look at 'em, let 'em know, let 'em see your name."