Maya unravels in second; Nationals trail Braves 4-0

Everything was looking good for Yunesky Maya in the first inning. He threw 13 pitches, 10 of them strikes, and was showing a fastball with more movement and life than he had in his first big league start. The Cuban right-hander looked like he had the stuff for a good night.

And then things came apart in the second inning.

Maya balked twice with Nate McLouth at the plate, making a slight movement toward the plate and stopping with two men on base. The second balk, which was subtler than the first, brought in a run, and then Maya gave up three hits and drilled Jason Heyward with a pitch. It’s 4-0 Braves in the top of the third inning. Maya finally got through the inning, but needed 36 pitches to do it.

Things went bad quickly for Maya in his first start, too, and he also imploded at Single-A Potomac, though he was dealing with a blister that night. Still, he hasn’t done much to suggest he’s any more than a fringe pitcher at this level so far.

He did get his first big league hit a moment ago, singling off Derek Lowe. But the Nationals’ struggling offense is already in need of a comeback.