A look back
Last night, J.D. Martin started his second career Major League game. While his pitching performance was cut short due to the rain, he managed to help the team on offense by starting a five-run rally with two outs in the second. In the third, Tyler Clippard came on in relief. He pitched a career-high 4.0 innings while fanning seven, a record for Nationals’ relievers. The Nats went on to beat the Padres, 13-1. Notes from NatsTown sat down with the two young pitchers before Sunday’s series finale against San Diego.
Last night, you went from first to third on a single by Nyjer Morgan after drawing a walk. What was going through your mind then?
“When I was running? I hope I don’t get thrown out.”
What was it like contributing to the victory both off of the mound and on the base paths? Have you enjoyed being able to hit?
“It felt great to contribute, it was awesome. I was with the Indians for my first eight years so I never hit at all so this is my first year actually being able to play offense. It’s been kind of fun.”
What has it been like since being called up to the Majors on July 20th?
“I have been getting more comfortable every day so it’s been awesome. I’m trying to take it all in and not take it for granted.”
Has it helped having a lot of other rookie players on the team with you?
“Yeah, definitely. I played with a lot of these guys at Syracuse so it definitely helps a lot.”
What has been your favorite part about playing for the Nationals?
“Just the whole experience, just being in the Big Leagues.”
At what point in the rain delay did you realize you were going to come in for relief?
“After the delay got to be an hour, an hour and a half. It’s tough for the starter to go back out there after that and so Ron Villone and myself were the long guys in the bullpen and he threw yesterday so I figured it was probably going to be me if they needed another guy to go besides J.D. So once the delay got more than an hour and a half they told me to go out there hoping to get two to three innings out of me and luckily I was able to go four.”
You recorded seven strikeouts which is a record for Nationals’ relievers. What was going through your mind while you were pitching last night?
“I was just trying to get outs anyway I could. Luckily I got a few strikeouts which is a bonus but I was just trying to get outs and it just happened.”
What do you think of your role as the long reliever on the team?
“Yeah, I’m just happy to get Big League innings anyway I can get them. Whether it be out of the bullpen, in the middle innings, late innings, I don’t care. As long as I have a Big League uniform on I’m out there having fun.”
What are your thoughts on your time in the Big Leagues? Is it nice coming up with a lot of guys in the same situation you are in?
“Yeah, I came into this organization last year and this is my second year now and I’ve developed some friendships here. A lot of us that are here now started in Syracuse and have worked our way up here and it’s nice to see that. We’ve got a lot of good young arms on this team and hopefully we’re going to be able to be a part of the future and start winning here. Once we do, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
What do you think of DC so far?
“I do like DC. So far I haven’t been able to get out as much as I like because we have games every day but so far so good. I like the city, there’s a lot to see, a lot to do, and that’s all you can ask for in a city.”
How is your new roommate, John Lannan? Has he shown you around at all?
“It’s good. We’re both kind of around the same age and trying to do the same things and we kind of keep each other in line. So far, so good. We’re a good team there. He knows the city better than I do because he’s been here for so long, or longer than I have, so it’s nice to have him as an outlook to be like ‘What can I do? What is there to do?’ and so it’s worked out well.”
What’s the story behind the glasses you wear on the mound?
“I’ve tried contacts in the past and I guess for whatever reason I have real dry eyes and so they had tended to in the past almost pop out at times and they were a real hassle. So the glasses were just an easier route for me to take. I don’t know if they’re the ‘Rec Specs’ category, I hope they look a little better than that. I need them. I have a little bit of astigmatism. My eyes aren’t that bad so I can get away with not wearing them during the day but at night it gets a little tougher to read the signs so I need them.”