Sunday afternoon’s win was a big one. Not because it marked the sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Not because it was the eighth in a row for the surging Nationals. No, Sunday’s win was a big one because it was a day of firsts for some of the Nats’ “young” rookies. J.D. Martin earned his first career win by going five strong innings, allowing only one run, coincidentally to the first(there’s that theme again) batter he faced via a leadoff home run to Trent Oeltjen. It was his best outing of the year. Just to keep making this post read like a bad episode of Sesame Street, Martin also collected his first hit of his career at the plate.
Now this couldn’t just be about a 26 year old rookie pitcher collecting his first win could it? That wouldn’t be worth my time or yours. How about this then? Sunday’s win also marked the first career hit for 29 year old career minor leaguer Jorge Padilla. He spent eleven long years in the minors, carving out an impressive resume, before getting his chance in the majors last Wednesday against the Florida Marlins. In his third game since being called up, Padilla finally delivered with a pinch hit in the bottom of the sixth inning. Unfortunately he was robbed of his first career run scored when he was forced out at the plate on a Ryan Zimmerman fielders choice. While it may have just been a single, it’s a great accomplishment for a guy who’s largely been an afterthought for his entire career. He’s so much of an afterthought that ESPN.com actually lists him as Juan Padilla in the game recap. Hopefully Padilla will get plenty of opportunities to make ESPN’s editors and fact checkers take the time to get his name right.
It’s safe to say that by the time the season ends, nobody will remember Sunday’s win apart from any other win. Nobody except J.D. Martin and Jorge Padilla that is.