Originally written on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 9/3/13
Ethan Martin helped dig a hole the Phillies could not climb out of as they fell to the Nationals, 9-6. Martin’s Struggles Continue -Martin continues to look more and more like a reliever. He scuffled his way through 4 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on four hits with five walks. Martin continues to have control issues and it was apparent again tonight, throwing 45 balls and 41 strikes. -One of those runs would come on a bases-loaded walk by Justin Defratus after Martin was pulled in the Nationals 2-run fifth inning. -In the sixth inning the Phillies made it interesting again, tacking on three runs to put it within 7-5. In the seventh, a swinger named Corey Brown would hit one into a mostly vacant upper-deck to make it 8-5, Washington. Bullpen Not Good -Not only did Martin struggle, but the men who backed up him did, as well. De Fratus allowed the bases loaded walk while Mauricio Robles (Who? Yep.) would allow two to score in his one frame. Luis Garcia was the man responsible for the Corey Brown upper-tank shot. Not necessarily household names. Nice Lineup, Ryne -Before the game, Ryne Sandberg said he wanted to take a look at the younger players that were at his disposal. He certainly made it clear he would do so with the lineup he put out. The lineup wasn’t an issue, per se, although you won’t win many games with Hernandez, Galvis, and Frandsen as your 1-2-3 hitters — no offense. By the way, that top three finished 2-for-13 with two walks. -Don’t take that as me ripping Ryne, either. The season is mostly in the tank, so he’s taking a look at these guys in certain situations and in certain places in the order, which is actually a good thing for the future. It just hurts in the present to have to watch this brand of baseball. -Cody Asche put together another solid evening. His home run in the eighth gives him three on the year, and he’s knocked in 17 runs. Asche is proving he belongs. What will make it interesting is when Maikel Franco also proves he belongs. Then what? -The paid attendance was 28,826, the lowest attendance for a game at CBP since April 3, 2008 when 25,831 watched the Phillies take on – you guessed it – the Washington Nationals. -The nine-inning game ended at 10:45. It took 3 hours, 38 minutes. As Matt Gelb pointed out, it was not well-pitched. The Phillies threw a total of 180 pitches, only 88 of them were strikes. Brutal.      
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