J.D. Martin's early exit a manager's decision
One inning after landing awkwardly after throwing a pitch, starting pitcher J.D. Martin left tonight's game against the Brewers in the bottom of the third. Martin left the game not because of a specific injury, but because of a Manager Jim Riggleman's decision, according to a Nationals spokesman.
Although no injury was given, Martin may have aggravated an ailment from late April. Earlier this season, Martin missed two starts for Class AAA Syracuse with lower back spasms.
With two outs in the second inning, after a pitch to catcher Jonathan Lucroy, Martin's right knee buckled upon landing at the end of his delivery. Riggleman, pitching coach Steve McCatty and trainer Lee Kuntz visited the mound. After throwing a few pitches, they allowed him to stay in the game.
Martin walked opposing pitcher Manny Parra, an uncommon bugaboo for Martin, who had walked eight batters in 45 2/3 innings this season before tonight. Parra's walk loaded the bases, but Martin remained in the game and induced an inning-ending pop up by Rickie Weeks.
After batting (and striking out) in the third inning, Martin allowed a leadoff triple to Joe Inglett and got a weak grounder to first by Ryan Braun. Martin intentionally walked Prince Fielder, at which point Riggleman walked to the mound and pulled Martin.
Riggleman inserted Collin Balester, just called up from Syracuse, to replace Martin and make his 2010 debut. Balester escaped the bases loaded jam with a 5-4-3 double play from Casey McGahee.
July 24, 2010; 8:23 PM ET
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