Luis Garcia hits a homer to Clearwater to win the game; Voth pitches a good one!

Luis Garcia photo by Steve Mears for TalkNats

The Nats took an Austin Voth 5-inning one run performance to the 9th inning with a 2-1 lead, and Daniel Hudson suffered a blown save and then vultured the win when the 20-year-old, Luis Garcia, smashed a 427 foot homer in the 10th inning to win it 4-2. It was not the way you penciled it up in a time when very few games have gone the way you planned. What you liked is that the team kept fighting after the blown save, and it was the youngest player in the Majors who came through for the Nats.

It was a signature win against the first place Tampa Bay Rays, and one of the best wins of the season. Okay, the Nats have only won eighteen games now, but this was a late inning game to comeback from adversity in a game that the younger players thrived.

What this does is solidify Garcia as the frontrunner for second base next season which will probably push Starlin Castro to third base. Isn’t that what these games are about for some players to use this to showcase their talents?

The Nats only had seven hits in the game, and it was the pair of two run home runs that was the difference. Asdrubal Cabrera put the Nats up 2-1 in the sixth inning and Garcia won it in the 10th with his second career home run.

“I said, ‘Get ready for the fastball,” manager Dave Martinez told Garcia. “I don’t know if they thought we were gonna try to bunt in that situation. But I told him to be ready for that first pitch fastball. … He put a good swing on it, and obviously hit the home run.”

For Voth, he didn’t go deep in the game, but this was deep enough when you consider he only gave up one run to give his team a chance. His final line of 5 IP 1 ER 1.400 WHIP 6 K. This effort got Voth’s ERA down to 7.17. He had 13 swing-and-miss strikes all on fastballs/cutters in the game, but not one on his breaking pitch or changeup. The spin rate was much improved on Voth’s fastball to have MLB classify several as cutters. In all, Voth got through the five innings at 88 total pitches. One of the hits was on a misread by one of his outfielders, and he bent but didn’t break.

This was a game to build on for several players including Carter Kieboom who went 1-4 in the game and narrowly missed a home run on a foul ball. It was a good showing by the rookies again, and add another pinch-hit for Jake Noll.

There is mentoring going on between Trea Turner and Luis Garcia; Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

“I notice Trea talking to both of them quite a bit,” Martinez said of Turner’s mentoring of Garcia and Kieboom. “You see it on the field, but Trea does diligence in the clubhouse as well and tries to teach [them] the right way to do things. It’s pretty awesome to see. It’s one of the things that Trea this year has done. He’s matured a lot, being the veteran guy with some of these young guys, really taking him and take him under their wings.”

Kudos to the bullpen sans Hudson. Wander Suero, Kyle Finnegan, Will Harris, and Kyle McGowin all pitched shutout innings, and of course McGowin earned the save including three strikeouts against the three batters he faced.

“The biggest thing and I tell these kids, ‘You have to create your own identity. You gotta know who you are. What type of player you are. What type of hitter you are. What type of pitcher you are.’ McGowin went down [to the minors] and figured everything out … came back here and like I said is very confident on what he is trying to do. Two different sliders and using his fastball a little bit better,” Martinez said.

Sage words from the manager.

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