Washington Nationals: Early Season Woes For Blake Treinen Continue

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Blake Treinen couldn’t get an out for the Washington Nationals in the eighth inning last night and his early season woes are a concern

For six innings last night, it looked like the main story for the Washington Nationals was going to be a successful Nats debut for starter Jacob Turner at Coors Field. Turner extended the quality start streak to 12 games for the starting rotation, but the bullpen, including Blake Treinenfaltered once again.

After 11 consecutive scoreless innings by the bullpen, Enny Romero and Treinen gave up five earned runs in the seventh and eighth inning. Romero gave up the lead with two outs after a Charlie Blackmon two-run shot to right. But, I want to focus more on Treinen.

Treinen came in to pitch the seventh and gave up a single to D.J. LeMahieu. He did get out of the inning, but that wasn’t the end of his problems. The Rockies ended up getting four straight singles and two runs in the eighth to take a 7-4 lead.

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With it being the first game of the series, Dusty Baker didn’t initially want to bring anyone else in because he doesn’t want to waste his bullpen for the rest of the series (as F.P. Santangelo pointed out on the MASN telecast).

But, Baker did not have a choice and eventually went to Matt Albers to finish the inning. It’s been a rough April for Treinen as he has gone from the choice to be the closer in the spring to a reliever that has struggled mightily and has been demoted from that role.

By the end of the night, the 28-year-old right-hander ended up giving up three run on six hits in 1/3 of an inning. The six hits are the third most Treinen has given up in a single outing in his career.

None of the six hits went for extra bases, so you could say he ran into some hard luck with the ground balls finding a hole in the infield.

For more on Turner’s start from last night and another home run from Ryan Zimmerman, co-editor Ron Juckett talks about it in last night’s DoDcast postgame show:

Throughout his career, Treinen has been known for lacking command of the sinker at times. He hasn’t walked anyone in two straight outings, but he has needed 20+ pitches in four of his ten outings this year.

Even though Treinen isn’t the closer anymore, the Washington Nationals need him to have success in the late innings this year. His sinker is still a good weapon because he can get the double play ball whenever he needs it.

Last season, Treinen had success in the second half of the year as he held opponents to a .210 average. But, when you runners on via the walk like he has done at times this season, bad things are most likely going to happen.

Next: Glover Being Eased Into Closer Role

Most people think the bullpen’s problems are at the closer situation, but the Nats have a tough time getting the ball to the closer with the lead. If Treinen can bounce back and gain some confidence, then that will help the bullpen in a big way.

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