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Washington Nationals news and notes: Nats lose opener to Mets; Jake Irvin gives up six runs against NY …

Washington Nationals news and notes: Nats lose opener to Mets; Jake Irvin gives up six runs against NY …

IRVIN VS NYM, ROUND 2:

In the game against the Mets on July 4 in the US capital, Jake Irvin played eight innings with 99 pitches and allowed only one hit and one walk in a scoreless game. He struck out eight of the 26 batters he faced and won 1-0.

Irvin collected 15 swinging strikes (seven of them with his curveball, six with his 4-seamer and two with his sinker) and 23 strikes (13 on his curve, four on his fastball, six strikes on his sinker), who dominates his opponent.

“It was incredible, really,” Nats manager Davey Martinez said after the holiday game at 11:05 a.m.

Washington Nationals vs. New York Mets

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

“He was good all day. He mixed up his pitches really well. But he kept guys off balance. His fastball was really good today.”

Irvin said his ability to get deep early on was due to the fact that he was on the mound attacking batters for all eight innings.

“Just stay in attack mode and control what you can control,” he explained.

“At the end of the day, I’m out there making shots and trying to attack the lineup.”

His manager said it was another step in the development of the 27-year-old, who was selected in the fourth round of 2018.

“He knows who he is and what he has to do,” Martinez said. “The main thing is that every time he goes out there, he gains confidence. He knows how to throw. That’s the main thing. I can talk to him, we can sit there and he tells me things like, ‘I don’t have a real feel for my two-seamer, I’m going to throw more four-seamers. I don’t have a real feel for my curveball, we’re going to throw the changeup,’ and vice versa. So he knows himself really well, and he talks to the catchers, and he just attacks the hitters, he attacks the hitters, which is great.”

Facing the Mets in consecutive rotations is always a challenge.

“He just needs to focus on what he does really well and hopefully get through it. For me, it’s the first few innings that he really needs to focus on. You’ve seen what he can do, but he can’t change anything, he needs to attack the strike zone and get a lead.”

“The last time Irvin faced them, he pitched really, really well. So he’s going to go out there and compete and hopefully come out and get ahead of those hitters because when you fall behind those hitters, they have some good hitters.”

This time, on the mound at Citi Field, Irvin managed a leadoff single and a one-out walk in the first inning, but in the second inning he allowed a two-out walk and two consecutive singles.

Francisco Lindor, who had hit a single in the first inning to start the game, hit his second and scored the first run in the second inning, then scored when Brandon Nimmo hit a fastball into the middle of the zone to left field that resulted in a three-run blast down the opposite side and gave the Mets a 4-0 lead.

Irvin held on to the win there until the fifth inning, but Lindor hit a 2-1 fastball to center-cut right in the sixth inning for a two-out, two-run home run, giving the home team a 6-0 lead in what eventually led to a 7-5 victory.

In total, Irvin allowed nine goals in this game (two home runs), two walks and six runs, all earned, with a total of 94 pitches, 64 strikes, including seven swinging strikes, 14 called strikes, (eight of them on his plumb line) and 18 throws were considered fouls.

“He wasn’t as sharp, his breaking ball wasn’t as sharp. He fell behind a few hitters and made some mistakes just because of the position,” Martinez said after the game.

“But overall he gave us the innings we needed, it was just one of those days.”

“He hasn’t been able to get that much out of it,” the manager added, summing up Irvin’s problems.

“He’s been a workhorse for us. He just needs one more game and he’ll be back. He’s got one more start before the (All-Star) break. He’ll get it all sorted and go out there and compete again.”

ADON FOR HEART:

Davey Martinez told reporters after the Cards’ 3rd of 4 games in DC that his bullpen was overloaded and needed help, and before Monday’s series finale they made a move by sending DJ Herz to Triple-A Rochester and calling up right-hander Joan Adon to give the club some length out of the bullpen.

“As we know, a lot of work has been done in the bullpen,” Martinez explained.

“(Adon) just gives us another arm in the bullpen for the next five days until we figure out what we’re going to do next. Hopefully he can help us out there.”

Adon, 25, has made 29 major league appearances, 26 of them as a starter, and in recent weeks the right-hander made five bullpen appearances at Triple-A before the Nationals named him to the starting lineup for the series finale with the Cards at Nats Park.

Washington Nationals vs. San Francisco Giants

Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

“I talked to him today and told him to just be where he is, right?” Martinez said before the game. “Take one batter at a time. And that doesn’t change as a (reliever). You just have to make sure he gives himself enough time to get ready because the routine is a little different, although he’s done a lot of work down there (at Triple-A) getting ready to pitch in games, but I think he’ll be ready.”

Adon’s ability played a role in his relief pitching, Martinez said, and he thought it was a good move for the pitcher who struggled to get deep in his major league starts, sometimes putting in a good performance but then forcing his way into the opposing lineup a few times.

“I really think moving him to the bullpen will definitely help him,” Martinez said.

“He can be a guy that comes in. We know he throws hard, he’s got a good changeup and a good slider, but I think it can help him. Usually in the past when we’ve had him here, he’s given us 2-3 really good innings and then he seems to have let up a little bit in the 4th or 5th inning, so that could be a boost for his career and for us.”

Adon’s performance was actually good when he took the mound in Monday’s game, but he allowed three hits and two earned runs in that appearance.