St. Louis starter Carlos Martinez turned in his best start of the season thus far, allowing only one run. But with 13 strikeouts, nine runners stranded on base, and an 0-for-5 mark with RISP, the Cardinals dropped Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Nationals by a 1-0 score.
Martinez took his fourth loss of the season, although he pitched really well, facing off with Nationals ace Max Scherzer. Martinez turned in six innings of one-run ball, with the only run scoring on a two-out double in the second inning by Alex Avila. Left fielder Justin Williams helped Martinez out with leaping grab on the warning track to rob Josh Harrison of extra bases in the third.
After Martinez, Ryan Helsley logged a clean seventh inning, followed by Alex Reyes’s scoreless eighth.
On the other side, Scherzer went six scoreless and fanned nine Cardinals in his outing. With 13 total punchouts on Wednesday, the Cardinals have struck out 49 times in their last five games.
The Cardinals left nine runners on base, even after hitting into two double plays. St. Louis had the bases loaded with one out in the top of the first, after Tommy Edman was hit by a pitch, Nolan Arenado singled, and Paul DeJong walked. Back-to-back strikeouts spoiled that. The Cardinals, again, had the bases loaded in the eighth inning, with two outs, but failed to take advantage of Daniel Hudson’s two walks in the inning.
The Cardinals are off on Thursday, as they travel back to St. Louis to open up a series with the Central-division-leading Reds. Kwang Hyun Kim is in line to make his second start of the season in the opener on Friday night.