The Washington Times - September 6, 2009, 02:33PM

The last two nights have not exactly produced quality pitching performances, from either the Nationals or the Marlins. So it’s nice to see both starters today putting together the makings of strong outings.

J.D. Martin has held the Marlins scoreless through three innings, allowing only a pair of two-out hits that didn’t come back to haunt him. Say what you will about Martin, a 26-year-old rookie who is never going to blow you away with anything he does. But he’s proved to be a serviceable starter for the Nats, allowing three earned runs or fewer in six of his nine starts to date. If nothing else, he usually gives them a chance to win.


Florida’s Anibal Sanchez, meanwhile, is putting together a strong start himself so far. The right-hander allowed back-to-back singles to Elijah Dukes and Alberto Gonzalez in the second but got Wil Nieves swinging at a fastball at his eyelids to get out of that jam. He also brushed aside a one-out walk in the third, getting Cristian Guzman (now 0 for his last 17) to strike out and Ryan Zimmerman to fly out.

So perhaps we’ve got a well-pitched game at our disposal for a change. If so, it would be a welcome change.

(One other note I forgot to mention in my earlier post: Tim Foli, the manager at Class AAA Syracuse, will join the big league staff starting Tuesday, much as Rick Eckstein did a year ago. You can infer into this as much or as little as you like, but I think it’s safe to say Foli will be among the candidates considered for the managerial job after the season.)