The ball was flying in the Great American Ballpark as witnessed by the 7 combined home runs today, but it was Sammy Solis who came into the game in the 7th inning with bases loaded in a 4-run game with one-out to face All-Star slugger Joey Votto. While Votto represented the tying run, Solis struck him out on a moving two-seam fastball that got Votto bending back. That didn’t get the Nats out of the inning because Solis had to face the hitterish Scooter Gennett. Solis threw Gennett a knuckle-curve to induce a comebacker back to the reliever to end the threat.
Stephen Strasburg looked great for five innings and struggled to get out of the 6th inning after a costly error on a tailor-made doubleplay ball was booted behind Stras, and he finished that inning with 81 pitches giving up 3 runs and the official scorer must figure out if it was 2 earned runs or 1 earned run. Manager Dave Martinez brought Strasburg out for the 7th inning and Stras struggled from the get-go. Stras quickly loaded the bases and was pulled with one out in favor of Sammy Solis who pulled off the Houdini act to save Strasburg any runs in that inning.
For the offense, Adam Eaton was 5-for-5 and a triple short of hitting for the cycle. He was the offensive player of the game.
“I could see my brother and my mom and dad and my wife and in-laws, and former teammates coming around third base,” Adam Eaton said. “The moment got to me because it’s for them. When we go out there, all nine positions, the guys in the bullpen, we don’t stand by ourselves. We stand with a whole heck of a lot of people that helped put us in the situation we’re in to be successful on — and off the field.”
Reds manager Bryan Price on Eaton: “What a difference he might’ve made of they’d had him all last year…. They paid a lot to get him. They felt he was a difference-maker. Having him at the top of their order gives them a different look. It lengthens their lineup.”
— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) March 31, 2018
It was Matt Adams who got the Nats on the board with a 3-run booming 460 foot home run with a 109 mph exit velocity to put the Nats up 3-to-0 in the game. Trea Turner added a solo home run, a single and a walk for a nice day at the plate and the exclamation point was dotted by Brian Goodwin‘s grand slam to straight-away centerfield to give the Nats a final tally of 13 runs.
The Nationals bullpen had their struggles as both Matt Grace and Enny Romero gave up two-run home runs to the second batters that they faced. Trevor Gott finished off the game to close-out a 13-to-7 win.
The fan who gave away a home run ball to a young Cincy fan was Joshua Gold who is a Nats fan and a fan of TalkNats. Good to see and a classy move. You can meet Joshua on the TalkNats trip to Philly this year!
That was me!!
— LeRoy Jenkins (@gold_joshua) March 31, 2018
For the line-up changes that Davey Martinez made today to insert Matt Adams and Brian Goodwin into the starting line-up in place of Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Taylor, it paid big dividends. The pair combined for 7 RBIs and some nifty defense in the game.
“I wanted to keep everyone engaged early [in the season],” Dave Martinez said about the line-up moves.
Dave Martinez moves to a 2-and-0 record to start the season and his young career.