If there’s been one starting pitcher the Nats have been able to count on through thick and thin so far this season, it’s been Shairon Martis.
Well, at least until tonight.
Needing a big performance from their promising rookie right-hander, the Nats instead are getting a dud. Martis has been rocked pretty good by the Pirates through three innings, allowing five runs on five hits and putting his teammates in a 5-0 hole that’s going to be tough to climb out of.
Martis, seeking to improve to 6-0 for the season, did not look like his usual self from the beginning. Five batters into the first inning, he had already allowed a double, a single, a walk, thrown a wild pitch, then allowed a two-run double. Three runs just like that.
He settled down during a 1-2-3 second innings, but then uncorked another wild pitch in the third in advance of a two-run homer by Andy LaRoche that might as well have been served on a platter.
The Nats, meanwhile, have done very little against Pirates No. 5 starter Jeff Karstens so far. Willie Harris drew a second-inning walk. Wil Nieves singled to right in the third. And Nick Johnson was plunked by a pitch.
That’s it so far, leaving the Nats staring at a 5-0 hole after three innings.