The Washington Times - May 2, 2009, 01:55PM

Good news: Shairon Martis is perfect through three innings.

Bad news: The Nats blew a golden opportunity to score in the bottom of the first and give their young starter the lead.


We’ll start with Martis. He’s cruising along, retiring all nine men he’s faced. He needed only six pitches (all strikes) to get through the first inning. Through the third, he’s only thrown 28 pitches. Looking really sharp.

The Nats were in great position to give Martis the lead when Nick Johnson drew a one-out walk in the first and Ryan Zimmerman followed with a sharp double to the left-center field wall (extending Zim’s hit streak to 21 games). But it was at this point that third base coach Pat Listach had perhaps his first real miscue of the season.

Johnson reached third base just as left fielder Colby Rasmus picked up the ball near the fence, yet Listach put up the stop sign, drawing some groans from the crowd. Should’ve sent him.

It didn’t help matters that Adam Dunn followed by looking at a called strike on a 3-2 curveball. The pitch was perhaps outside, and Dunn showed some frustration with plate umpire Angel Hernandez, but you know what? Dunn needs to take the bat off his shoulder in that situation. The infield was in. All he needed to do was get the ball over their heads and a run scores. Instead, Dunn struck out looking and Austin Kearns followed by striking out swinging.

So we’re still scoreless here through three.