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J.D. Martin's pinch-hit and Roger Bernadina's back

Usually, a starting pitcher pinch-hitting is one of the wildest things that will happen in a game. Yesterday, it got lost in the shuffle, but it still deserves an explanation.

Manager Jim Riggleman used J.D. Martin, a starting pitcher, to pinch-hit in for Stephen Strasburg in the fifth inning because, with Roger Bernadina's unavailable with a stiff back, Riggleman did not want to waste a player from his short bench. Whoever pinch-hit for the pitcher would immediately come out of the game. Basically, Riggleman didn't want to burn Michael Morse.

With two outs and nobody on base, the chances of starting a rally against R.A. Dickey seemed bleak. He also figured the game would come down to the wire, and he wanted a full complement of reserves. As it turned out, Martin grounded out to the right side.

As for Bernadina, he would not have played today, anyway, because of a left-handed Mets starter. Yesterday, he felt a pull during batting practice yesterday and hoped he could. When he received treatment, he realized he wouldn't be able to. Last night, Bernadina figured he would be available to pinch-hit today. Since the Nationals have an off day Monday, he should be at full health for his next start Tuesday.

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 4, 2010; 10:20 AM ET
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I may be wrong, but I think that's the 2nd time I have seen Riggelman put a pitcher in as a pinch hitter for this team.

Posted by: alex35332 | July 4, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse


I believe that Riggleman used Livo to pinch hit earlier in the year.

Posted by: bigmook | July 4, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Part of the problems is that they now carry so many pitchers there aren't many bench players. Consequently, if some of the pitchers hit better than the guy in the game, it makes sense to pinch hit them.

Posted by: markfromark | July 5, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

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