Heat bothers Nats’ Maya in season debut
A few hours after getting recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday, right-hander Yunesky Maya pitched his first game of the 2011 season.
Maya lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowed four runs on six hits, but didn’t figure in the decision as the Nationals lost to the Padres, 5-4, at Nationals Park. Maya struck out three and walked two.
The walks came in the fifth inning when he was charged with three runs. In the first three innings, Maya retired nine out of the first 10 hitters he faced, while being given a 2-0 lead. However, Maya ran out of gas in the fourth inning, admitting that the heat was getting the best of him. The game-time temperature was 80 degrees.
“I felt very good the first couple of innings. … “I wasn’t hitting my spots in the fifth. That’s what opened the floodgates,” said Maya through interpreter Javier Castro, an assistant to clubhouse manager Mike Wallace. “I wanted to work fast the first three innings, but in the fourth and fifth, the heat got me a little bit. That’s why I was stepping off [the mound] a little bit, taking my time getting a little second wind. It’s not the same from the stretch than from the windup.”
In his next start, Maya said he wants to improve his control.
“I always have to work on things after every start,” Maya said. “I’m going to work on [my control]. It isn’t there yet. I’m trying to hit my spots. I don’t want to walk anybody.”
Maya was promoted to the big leagues after going 1-4 with a 3.79 ERA in nine starts for Syracuse. He had a feeling that he would get back to the big league. Maya made his Major League debut last year and was allowed 17 earned runs in 26 innings. He is still looking for his first big-league win.
“I’m always positive. I did my job down there,” Maya said. “You always have to be ready because you are never going to know when you are going to get that call. I thank them for the opportunity.”