(Busch Stadium) Prior to leaving the ballpark on Saturday, Carlos Martinez told Mike Matheny he wasn’t sure he would be able to pitch today as the flu bug going around the St. Louis Cardinals clubhouse had struck the right-hander. But after the night’s sleep, Martinez arrived today and not only took the ball, but struck out eight batters before back to back home runs led to his exit with two outs in the 7th inning of Washington’s 6-1 win.

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“I was feeling good, it was just one of those things they made pretty good contact with my fastball,” explained Martinez with the help of interpreter Brayan Pena afterwards. “I’m not going to put up any excuse. Today I got beat, but I felt good. It’s one of those things–I have to grind. It’s one of those things that I have to go through, I felt good enough to go out there and try to help my team win.”

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos MartinezThe flu hit Martinez four days ago, but he still threw his bullpen as scheduled. But like other teammates, he has lost a substantial amount of weight.

“I think like around 5-10lbs, it’s exactly what everybody else had,” confirmed Martinez. “Physically, I felt a little tired and stuff like that but in my mind, I was like I have to overcome this because I was ready for this start mentally. That’s exactly what I was trying to do. I really wasn’t thinking about my health, I was thinking about grind it out.”

Kevin Siegrist is still trying to regain the 13 pounds he lost due to the flu and Kolten Wong was also greatly affected.

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Besides dealing with the flu, the right-hander has also had to deal with a civil, legal issue involving the alleged transmission of a sexually transmitted disease.

“I just focus on doing my job–that’s my main goal,” said Martinez. “I think that everything outside is totally out of my hands. The only thing I can control is come here and help my team to win and that’s my main focus.”

“I’m pretty sure that I’m healthy,” added Martinez when the topic was brought up later. “I’m pretty sure that I’m feeling good; I’m hat I know who I am. At the same time, it’s not part of my job. That’s my lawyer and my agent, they’re going to take care of that. But I’m just here. I’m here to try and help my team to win and do whatever it takes to be ready. I’m just happy to be here.”

SCHERZER GETS HIS FIRST

–Washington starter and St. Louis native Max Scherzer (3-1) earned his first career victory against the Cardinals as he threw 7.0 scoreless innings and struck out nine batters on 105 pitches. He also surpassed 1500 career innings after completing his first inning of work.

photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI

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