Austin Voth saw it as a do-over game, and he did it right this time.
The Washington Nationals hurler — who was born in Redmond and grew up in Kent — got a second crack at the New York Mets and earned his first Major League Baseball win by pitching five scoreless innings and giving up just one hit during his team’s 6-0 win last Saturday at home. The former Kentwood High and University of Washington star unleashed 73 pitches, striking out five and walking two.
Mets batters rattled right-hander Voth in his debut big-league start on July 14 when he surrendered nine hits, three walks and seven earned runs over 4.1 innings. That game is way distant in Voth’s rearview mirror.
Voth, 26, discussed last Saturday’s game during a call from DC to the Reporter.
“It felt really good, especially against the Mets,” he said. “In my debut, there were a lot of emotions and I wasn’t executing my pitches as well as I should have.”
He knew the Mets’ starting lineup well this time around and had command of his offspeed pitches — especially his curve — and his fastball. At one point, the 6-foot-2 pitcher retired seven straight Mets.
“There were some nerves, but I was definitely motivated for this game, for the Nationals (79-78 at press time) to give me another chance to start,” he said, noting that rookies don’t get too many opportunities to pitch and he wanted to make the most of the situation. Voth also pitched a scoreless relief inning against the Atlanta Braves earlier this month.
“This start was huge for me and to get my first win,” he said. “It’s huge going into next year and the Nationals seeing what they have in me.”
In Triple-A this season, Voth posted a 4.87 ERA, 40 walks and 117 Ks in 24 starts and 125.2 innings pitched.
Voth helped lead Kentwood to the Class 4A state title in 2010 and the Nationals drafted him in the fifth round in 2013 out of UW. The Nationals had called up Voth three previous times, but each time he got sent back to the minors before playing in a game.
Redmond native and Met Michael Conforto notched the only hit off Voth last Saturday. Voth pitched against the Oregon State University player in college and in Double-A ball as well.
“He’s gotten the best of me,” Voth said of Conforto, who has 27 homers and 80 RBIs for the Mets (73-83 at press time) this season.
However, Voth had the rest of the Mets in the palm of his hand during his big win.