Thru 6: Nats up 4-0

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Shairon Martis continues to dominate. And Adam Dunn made up for that called third strike back in the first inning. The result is a 4-0 lead for the Nationals through six innings.

Martis retired the first 14 men he faced before Yadier Molina finally singled up the middle in the fifth. And all the right-hander did after that was pick right back up and continue his dominance. He’s now retired four in a row since the Molina hit.

Through six innings, Martis has allowed just that one baserunner. He’s thrown only 74 pitches. And he’s showing no signs of letting up. Which begs the question: When’s the last time a Nationals pitcher threw a complete-game shutout.

Well, it’s been a while. Remember Pedro Astacio? Yeah, him. The sage veteran righty we used to refer to as “Old Man Winter” shut out the Braves on Aug. 15, 2006. The only other National to throw a shutout was John Patterson on Aug. 4, 2005 against the Dodgers. So stay tuned…

Martis is now pitching with a lead, thanks to a four-run fifth that featured a spectacular catch by Rick Ankiel as he slammed into the center-field fence. The catch did allow Martis to tag up from third and score, but still it was an impressive play.

Not so impressive was Chris Duncan’s play at first base on Ryan Zimmerman’s foul pop. Duncan dropped it, was charged with an error, and was made to pay for it when Zimmerman proceeded to single to left to prolong the inning.

Moments later, Dunn tattooed a 1-2 fastball from Joel Piniero into the second deck in right field for his seventh homer of the season.

So it’s 4-0 Nats heading to the seventh.

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Mark Zuckerman

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