Recent callups have rough outings in bullpen

Baker hoping for better results after Adams, Gott struggle

Recent callups have rough outings in bullpen

CINCINNATI -- In dire need of some bullpen help, the Nationals called up two relievers from Triple-A Syracuse on Friday. And in Saturday's 10-7 win over the Reds, both Austin Adams and Trevor Gott made an appearance, but they performed the opposite of how Washington hoped they would.

After more than six seasons in the Minors, Adams made his Major League debut Saturday. Nationals manager Dusty Baker mentioned Friday he wanted to put Adams in a low-pressure situation, and that presented itself as Washington turned to him with a 10-0 lead in the eighth inning.

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"He's kind of a high-strung guy," Baker said Friday. "We'd like to put him in a situation that's a little less pressure in the beginning. It's his first big league experience. And he's a guy, they told me, that's extremely tough on right-handers. And so we just hope that he's not over-amped and able to find the strike zone."

The first batter Adams faced reached on an error. He then walked a batter, hit another and walked in a second for the Reds' first run of the game. After then giving up an RBI single to Cincinnati third baseman Eugenio Suarez, he was taken out of the game.

"The problem was just finding the strike zone," Baker said after Saturday's game. "And it seems like he was a little amped up and high anxiety. And that's about as low a pressure situation as I could dream of to put a guy in. So we'll just have to talk to him and hope that was just a bad outing."

Gott entered in the ninth inning in an equally low-stakes situation -- the Nationals still had a 10-2 lead. But like Adams, he was unable to get the job done.

Gott gave up a hit to each of the five batters he faced, the last of whom, Scooter Gennett, hit a three-run home run to cut the lead to 10-7. The right-hander was relieved by Baker after the homer, and closer Matt Grace had to come in to put the game on ice.

All together, Gott and Adams allowed six hits and seven runs (six earned) while failing to record an out.

"Boy," Baker said. "Those two guys. They didn't get an out, and quite a few runs. So hopefully they'll be better in the future."

The Nationals' bullpen ranks last in the Majors in ERA (5.34) and opponent batting average (.280) and OPS (.825).

Jeremy Vernon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati and covered the Nationals on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.