“Actually, Doolittle threw (Thursday) and looked pretty good. We’ll see how he feels (today), and we’ll go from there. Madson, he’s going to meet us in New York and we’ll see how he’s feeling. Madson, if he’s good, I don’t think he’ll need to go down and pitch. I think he’ll be good to go because it wasn’t his arm that was bothering him.
So Madson could return sooner than expected. Martinez is still being cautious about Doolittle’s progress.
“We’ll see. He had a good day today,” Martinez said. “But at this point, we want to make sure he’s completely healthy.”
The Nats bullpen could use the refreshed arms. They used seven relievers on Tuesday and six on Wednesday. Matt Grace, Tim Collins, Justin Miller, Jimmy Cordero and Wander Suero were used in back-to-back games. Suero was used in all three games of the series against the Phillies. Greg Holland was used in the final two games.
“We were a little bit short,” Martinez said. “But these guys, man, they get it. I know they come up to me, they’ve been coming up to me and telling me they’re available, but I know better. We try to get some guys (time) off so we have them for (today).”
Holland struck out the side in the ninth on Thursday in the 2-0 loss. He has not allowed a run since arriving in D.C. He has a 0.00 ERA in nine appearances with the Nats.
“He’s looking much better,” Martinez noted. “I know (pitching coach Derek Lilliquist) tweaked his mechanics a little bit and he’s really getting through the ball. We talked to him about using his fastball a little more. He got up to 95 mph today, which was nice to see.”