Yesterday a young starting pitcher threw a stellar game. He went 6 2/3 IP, gave up 2 ER, and struck out 4 while walking 2. He lowered his ERA to 4.35 and has pitched great over his last 7 starts. Then the bullpen came in and blew it. You could imagine this has played out quite a few times this season with this team, but I’m not sure who imagined that the pitcher would be J.D. Martin. Before getting in to the surprising success of this 26 year old rookie, let’s not forget that the Nats ended up winning.

Zimmerman hit a walk off HR, spent a little long admiring it, and was somewhat awkwardly mobbed on his way home. It was a bomb though, so he may have wanted to see if it was gonna hit the Red Porch or something. Anyway, here continues the Ryan Zimmerman March to 30 HRs uniform gallery:


A nice one on the March to 30, no doubt. I’m sure he’ll remember this one, a walk off against a team that was about to sweep them again. For the 87th time in the last 2 years. Breaking an eight game losing streak. Anyway, breaking from tradition for the gallery, I’ve posted a few pics from the home run itself. Here’s the hit:


And of course, one of him just admiring it:


Here’s a link to the whole video, if you please.

Back to JD

Back to John Dale Martin. In his last 7 starts, the rookie has amassed an ERA of 3.40. The team has gone 5-2, while his record has been 3-2. Meanwhile, he’s thrown 39 2/3 and given up 40 hits, which is pretty good. But he’s also walked 13, a little high, and only struck out 19, a little low. So far he has looked impressive in the majors, and if he continues to pound the zone the way he has, not walk people, he may be a decent back end of the rotation starter.

He was a non-prospect before this year, so how did he get to the majors?  The Nationals’ signed him as a minor league free agent this offseason, basically to add depth to their AAA rotation. Instead, he absolutely dominated in Syracuse. Before being call up in late July, he had gone 8-3 with a 2.66 ERA. In 88 IP he had 63 K to 10 BB. Obviously the ratio was high, and he took “pounding the strike zone” to a new level. So as long as the walks stay down, he may not strike out many major league hitters with his stuff. But getting out major leaguers doesn’t have to be by strikeouts, and if he keeps this up, he should have a job for a while.

By Charlie