Martin Struggles Again, Nats Down Phils – Phillies Nation
2013 Game Recaps

Martin Struggles Again, Nats Down Phils

Ethan Martin helped dig a hole the Phillies could not climb out of as they fell to the Nationals, 9-6.

Martin’s Struggles Continue

-Martin continues to look more and more like a reliever. He scuffled his way through 4 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on four hits with five walks. Martin continues to have control issues and it was apparent again tonight, throwing 45 balls and 41 strikes.

-One of those runs would come on a bases-loaded walk by Justin Defratus after Martin was pulled in the Nationals 2-run fifth inning.

-In the sixth inning the Phillies made it interesting again, tacking on three runs to put it within 7-5. In the seventh, a swinger named Corey Brown would hit one into a mostly vacant upper-deck to make it 8-5, Washington.

Bullpen Not Good

-Not only did Martin struggle, but the men who backed up him did, as well. De Fratus allowed the bases loaded walk while Mauricio Robles (Who? Yep.) would allow two to score in his one frame. Luis Garcia was the man responsible for the Corey Brown upper-tank shot. Not necessarily household names.

Nice Lineup, Ryne

-Before the game, Ryne Sandberg said he wanted to take a look at the younger players that were at his disposal. He certainly made it clear he would do so with the lineup he put out. The lineup wasn’t an issue, per se, although you won’t win many games with Hernandez, Galvis, and Frandsen as your 1-2-3 hitters — no offense. By the way, that top three finished 2-for-13 with two walks.

-Don’t take that as me ripping Ryne, either. The season is mostly in the tank, so he’s taking a look at these guys in certain situations and in certain places in the order, which is actually a good thing for the future. It just hurts in the present to have to watch this brand of baseball.

-Cody Asche put together another solid evening. His home run in the eighth gives him three on the year, and he’s knocked in 17 runs. Asche is proving he belongs. What will make it interesting is when Maikel Franco also proves he belongs. Then what?

-The paid attendance was 28,826, the lowest attendance for a game at CBP since April 3, 2008 when 25,831 watched the Phillies take on – you guessed it – the Washington Nationals.

-The nine-inning game ended at 10:45. It took 3 hours, 38 minutes. As Matt Gelb pointed out, it was not well-pitched. The Phillies threw a total of 180 pitches, only 88 of them were strikes. Brutal.



  1. DavidE

    September 3, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    I think the infield next year will be Rollins (under contract), Asche, Utley, Howard (under contract) with Galvis and Hernandez as utility players. Maybe its best to platoon Rollins and Galvis and have Hernandez play twice a week at second and possibly in the outfield. If Howard is down, you could play Utley at first base. I think the infield could be better than average offensively. I think Rollins might hit more when he is playing if he played less. That is what Sandberg should try to test. Does Rollins hit better when he is given more days off?

  2. bacardipr

    September 4, 2013 at 3:48 am

    I think Ruf will be in there to but possibly not as a starter.I think he will sort of take the roll that Nix was supposed to. Catcher situation will be interesting. I think they almost have to sign Ruiz or overpay for McCann unless they are willing to go with two backup catchers in Rupp/Kratz.. I like the energy and enthusiasm Frandsden bring but i dont think he will be back as he will be redundant if they indeed bring Galvis and or Hernandez in. They seem to like Hernandez a lot and will make room for him on the roster. Starting pitching will also be interesting as Cole and Lee are the only lock in and KK has been stinking it up lately. Morgan looked to be a good candidate for a spot next year but injuries has held him back.

    • Carlos Danger

      September 4, 2013 at 7:31 am

      Ruf went .229/.305/.505 in August. On the road for the season he’s gone .208/.293/.375. The more he plays, the less he looks like a starting player.

      • David P

        September 4, 2013 at 7:37 am

        You talk about an .810 OPS like it isn’t starter quality. Lol.

  3. Dr. Dave

    September 4, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Our “Triple A” lineup scored 6 runs! More than normal. The problem: our Triple A pitchers gave up 9.

    Cloyd needs to replace Martin in the rotation. He gave us 5 scoreless innings in the 18 inning marathon. Martin was out in 2/3 of an inning that night and has been horrible ever since.

  4. betasigmadeltashag

    September 4, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I think the big problem with Hernandez and Galvis is playing time. Neither of them to me would be a feared bench bat and playing once a week or less would not be beneficial.
    I would assume the only positions in question for next year are 3rd base (appears Asche has the edge) and one outfielder(Revere and Brown are pretty much locks)
    And as far as checking out young talent I think that ship has sailed for Mini Mart why that guy still takes up space on this bench amazes me

  5. Ryan

    September 4, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Why does anyone mention losing at this point? It’s highly advantageous for us to lose while resting veterans! Utley, Rollins, Ruiz, Cliff Lee, and Hamels should also be shut down to save wear and tear.

    • Hogey's Role

      September 4, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      I agree

    • wbramh

      September 4, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      Here’s an interesting statistic:

      The average number of games played by a Phillies starter in 2012 was 106, or 64% .

      The average number of games played by a starter on the 1980 championship team was 141, or 87%.

      And yes, I’ve taken into account platooning. The percentage discrepancy would only be wider if I factored in the top 7 platooners in each of those seasons.

      With all the injuries and juggling of lineups this year I’m sure that number will drop below 100 games and under 60% availability of top players.

      Here’s another interesting way to look at it. From 1949 through 1960, Richie Ashburn only failed to play in 151 or more games once (144 in 1955). Old man Pete Rose played in all 162 games in 1980.34-year-old Jim Eisenreich played in 153 games for the 1993 Pennant winners while Jimmy Rollins was the only Phillies player to play in more than 150 game last year (156).

      And then there were Mssrs Gehrig and Ripken. The former only pulled himself out of the lineup when he could no longer crawl to the plate.

      I think the discrepancy is even more odd when you consider today’s multi-million dollar conditioning facilities, highly educated conditioning coaches and last but not least, the invention of arthroscopic surgery.
      Galvis broke his back taking a swing and Howard rupture his achilles tendon doing the same.

      You have to wonder what miracle metal Gehrig and Ripken were made of.
      Or Whitey or Del or Puddin Head or Schmitty or…

      • wbramh

        September 4, 2013 at 3:09 pm

        I might add that there was time in baseball when ball player had to fall off a speeding train and then get swept over Niagara Falls before being scratched from a lineup.
        Suffering just one of the above catastrophic events was no excuse.

      • George

        September 4, 2013 at 3:21 pm

        The fact that Gehrig “only pulled himself out of the lineup when he could no longer crawl to the plate” says as much about old time players as anything. Now there may be better surgeries and better conditioning, but there’s also a different attitude. There’s not a front office around that’s going to allow a multi-million dollar investment to play with anything worse than a hangnail. Years ago, ownership considered most players to be a piece of meat and paid them accordingly, so those guys had to play in order to eat.

        I’d also like to point out that although there have been numerous historical players who went forever without any seeming injuries, there were probably just as many who had careers ended early by strange circumstances. There may even have been more of those 90-100 game players way back when just because of the lack of physical therapy, good surgeries, and that old time attitude of “I’ll play on one leg if I have to,” which surely led to muscles and tendons being prematurely torn to bits.

      • wbramh

        September 4, 2013 at 5:36 pm

        George: I think your points are very good, but 1980 was well past the Brock days, yet players still showed up for work 23% more frequently than their counterparts in 2012. Yeah, the money has gotten even bigger therefore the risks would appear larger but franchises back then were valued in the tens of millions while today they’re worth over a billion (well ahead of inflation).

        Someday, the late Marvin Miller will be hailed as the hero of management as well as the “working man” because his battle raised the financial lot of owners as much as it did the players.

        So yes, owners may not treat their players like raw soup bones these days but with the money management makes today, treating players like filet mignon doesn’t make them any less expendable. I think they’ve always appreciated the value of a star player when it comes to sparking attendance. Now, we’re in the age of mega broadcast contracts in which the networks seem to care more about owning the rights to the product than the actual quality of the product.

      • wbramh

        September 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm

        Another example of “playing through.”

        (Griffiths Field – 1924)
        Newspaper report:

        “The Babe ran into the pavilion parapet with the full force of his body, and dropped unconscious to the grass. Uniformed policeman ran to his assistance and kept back the crowd that seemed disposed to leave the chairs and get a close-up of the injured warrior. Several photographers happened to be on the spot and they snapped the Babe as Trainer Doc Woods ran up with the water bucket and the little black bag of first aid preparations.”

        From the web site:

        “At first it was thought that Ruth had been knocked out by a blow from the concrete on his chin, but it was sooon discovered that he had been knocked out by a jolt in the solar plexus. His left leg was also hurt at the hip.

        This being 1924, they splashed cold water on Ruth’s face to wake him up. Manager Miller Huggins wanted to take him out, but Ruth refused, finishing the game 3-for-3—and playing the second game of the double-header, despite a noticeable limp. Ruth would start every game that season.”

        For pic, go here:

    • Joe

      September 4, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      Resting Rollins and Utley against playoff possible teams isn’t right. It hurt the integrity of the game. No other team backed down when the Phillies were making their runs.

  6. hot dog

    September 4, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Asche had a good noght at the plate but his error stopped momentum. It also was not a hard play he needs to make that throw with a young pitcher on the mound.

  7. Dave

    September 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Was at the game last night. Between the two drunk girls sitting behind us and the play on the field, it was a miserable evening. The actual attendance was somewhere around 18-20,000. The Phanatic didn’t come out until the 5th inning. Even he is embarrassed.

    • wbramh

      September 4, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      Those weren’t two drunk girls sitting behind you.
      It just sounded that way.
      It was actually the GM and President of the Nats giddy over finally humbling the Phillies.

  8. smitty

    September 4, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Watched the game and I agree with much of what is above – you might well lose the rest of these games in order to determine who can play and who can’t – small sample be damned. If Phils finish with 10th worst record they can shop the free agents without compensation ; and draft in a higher slot.

    As bad as the Lehigh Fightin’s looked, Washington looked almost as bad. Awful command by both sides – sloppy fielding, and the hitting – missing on both sides sans Asche. Who – the way he swings the bat reminds me of Utley-light – does he strike others this way ?

    • Hogey's Role

      September 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      I was thinking the same thing his swing and follow through are similar to Chase

      • wbramh

        September 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm

        I pray Cody has a similar career… minus the knees.

  9. George

    September 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I disagree with the statement that Martin looks more and more like a reliever. He looks to me more and more like a BAD reliever. He can’t get the ball over the plate, just like most everyone else the Phils seem to recruit for their bullpen. I can well imagine Martin in a situation like DeFratus had to deal with: coming in with the bases loaded. Like DeFratus, he’d most likely immediately issue a free pass, or worse yet, go inside and have it tail into the hitter’s home-run zone.

    The biggest problem with all these guys with the “great stuff” is that they lack command. A pitch with a gigantic break or a 97 MPH fastball will never get anyone out if it’s not over the plate.

    • schmenkman

      September 4, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      I think the idea that Martin may make a decent reliever is based in part on stats like these on how hitters fare against him:

      Splits by times through the order:

      1st time (63 PA): .200/.290/.327 (.618 OPS), 6 BB, 23 K
      2nd time (53 PA): .304/.396/.565 (.961 OPS), 7 BB, 6 K
      3rd time (30 PA): .364/.533/.955 (1.488 OPS), 8 BB, 5 K

      Splits by pitch count:

      1-25 (37 PA): .147/.216/.147 (.363 OPS), 2 BB, 16 K
      26-50 (46 PA): .341/.400/.561 (.961 OPS), 4 BB, 8 K
      51-75 (37 PA): .267/.405/.733 (1.139 OPS), 7 BB, 6 K
      76+ (26 PA): .333/.538/.833 (1.372 OPS), 8 BB, 4 K

      • Hogey's Role

        September 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm

        i think he’d probably be a better reliever than starter at this point… it would be worth a shot to try him there because starting isn’t exactly working so far, plus our bullpen isn’t exactly lights out right now, so what would it hurt…

      • hk

        September 4, 2013 at 5:26 pm

        I think that I also read that Martin’s velocity drops off quickly after the first few innings, but I can’t find the article or any statistics to back this up. If this is true, it is another indication that he might be an effective reliever, but is not cut out to be a starter.

      • schmenkman

        September 4, 2013 at 9:03 pm

        @hk, the link below is Ethan Martin’s page at, and it shows his velocity by inning. For example, the speed of Martin’s four-seam fastball for innings 1 to 5:

        94.8, 94.0, 93.2, 93.0, 93.0

        It drops further in the 6th and 7th, but he’s only faced a total of 8 hitters combined in those two.|SI|FC|CU|SL|CS|KN|CH|FS|SB&time=inning&minmax=ci&var=mph&s_type=2&startDate=03/30/2007&endDate=09/04/2013

  10. wbramh

    September 4, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    I try to remember how wild Sandy Koufax was when he first came up to the bigs so as not to get too impatient with some these young pitchers. Sandy struggled with control until he was around 26-years-old. Which is not to say the next Koufax is languishing somewhere between the Lehigh Valley and South Philly. I’d settle for Bubba Church.

    If I had to guess I’d say Martin becomes a closer in the Mitch Williams mold where he throws nothing but high heat – and where it goes, nobody knows. He may have a modicum of success in that role. I’m just not seeing a starter.

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