How do you keep your bullpen from screwing up a game?
Don't use it!!
Applause to Manny Acta for having the rocks (and sense) to let Martis go. Applause to Martis for throwing as good a game as I've seen pitched in a while. As my brother just said, let's not call him Cy Young quite yet. OK, we won't. Still an impressive outing.
Isn't it fun to go watch a major-league team and actually see it play like a major-league team? Isn't it amazing how one good game in a season that isn't very good (yet) can elevate a mood.
I thought for sure Martis was done after seven and was surprised to see him come up to bat in the bottom. But his pitch count was low, he still seemed to have some good stuff. I didn't think there was any way he'd throw the ninth but, as Manny said on the postgame radio, "He had as good a stuff then as anybody we could have brought in from the bullpen." Quite true.
Other than the stadium opener, today was as much fun as we've had at a ballpark. The other team makes a mistake and the Nats take advantage. How many times have we seen it happen the other way? Dunn's homer sent a spark through the stadium that my wife agreed you could actually feel. The man is earning his fat check.
Plus, I got a Los Nacionales t-shirt out of the deal. AND the Caps won. I headed to the bathroom at just the right time to see Varlamov's amazing save late in the second period.
Today's postgame shake-your-head radio call: Someone floated the idea of turning Strasburg into a closer. Charlie Slowes handled it well. Uh, no.
It's been a fine day thus far. Now I have to see if I can go sniff out a Derby winner.
ps - my brother just told me I was born on the day Carl Erskine threw a no-hitter and our Dad wanted to name me Erskine. Our Mom said no. I never knew that. Too bad, I think Erskine would have been a cool name.