The Washington Nationals have been hard pressed to find quality pitching performances this year. Ben Braymer has earned the right at another start based on his recent outing.
As it turns out, Braymer was needed for a spot start against the Miami Marlins. A start in which he pitched well, and surely earned the right to go back out five days from now in an opportunity to show what he has. Maybe he’ll pitch well, maybe he won’t. He has earned the right to try, though.
Had seven pitchers not been on the injured list, Braymer may not have been the one selected for the start. A healthy Stephen Strasburg gets the nod. Seth Romero probably gets the next chance had he been available. However, a bullpen ravaged by injury and overuse gave way to Braymer, making his first career start.
Entering the game, Braymer had appeared in just two games in his career, both in relief. His 3.49 WHIP was alarming, even if his two appearances consisted of a total of 2.1 innings.
He stymied a Miami Marlins team, who beat the Nationals earlier in the day in the first game of the double-header, who are currently sitting in second place in the division, well on their way to the postseason.
Having a large lead helped his cause, as maybe Braymer doesn’t stay in as long if the game is close. Of his 86 pitches, only 47 were for strikes, but he allowed just one hit and three walks over five innings. Kudos to manager Davey Martinez for sticking with him, even though his arm may not have been stretched out and ready to throw so many pitches. Allowing him to qualify for the win, the first of his career, was a great gesture for the manager to make.
The Nationals know what they have in Erick Fedde and Austin Voth. Why not give Ben Braymer one more start before the year ends. I think he’s earned it.