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Instant analysis: Marlins 5, Nats 3

May 31, 2012, 2:16 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
Chien-Ming Wang was knocked out in the bottom of the fifth.

Game in a nutshell: Needing a big performance from Chien-Ming Wang to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Marlins, the Nationals instead got a ragged outing from the veteran right-hander in his first start of the season. Wang allowed 12 of the 22 batters he faced to reach safely and couldn't even record an out in the fifth before Ross Detwiler had to bail him out from the bullpen. That rough outing wasted some early production from the Nationals' lineup, which had taken a 3-1 lead on Josh Johnson in the top of the fourth. That unit, though, turned stone-cold silent the rest of the night, unable to rally and avoid a sweep at the hands of the Marlins, who now sit a mere 1/2-game behind the Nats in the NL East standings.

Hitting highlight: Slowly but surely, Danny Espinosa appears to be getting on track at the plate. Thanks in part to some advice from Davey Johnson, Espinosa now has multi-hit games in four of his last nine starts. He tripled to lead off the second inning tonight, nearly sending the ball over the very deep and very high fence in center field. Then he laced an RBI single in the fourth, adding to a solid evening for theRead more »

  1. baseballswami - May 31, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    5-4 road trip with half a team that's bench players and triple a players. Add a washed up pitcher to that and we probably got more wins than we should have. Solano appears to be an asset – nice moment with the brother. Offense has turned cold again. What ever happened to the nats late inning heroics? At one point that was our claim to fame. Not so much anymore.

  2. rogieshan - May 31, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    Re: Espinosa. Slowly, yes. But don't call him Surely.

  3. Gonat - May 31, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    Davey put in his worst managers effort, but still, the Nats pitchers didn't execute. Wang was no better than the past 3 performances of Detwiler. 3 decent innings and 1+ inning to forget about.

  4. Gonat - May 31, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    Hitting highlight: Slowly but surely, Danny Espinosa appears to be getting on track at the plate. Thanks in part to some advice from Davey Johnson, Espinosa now has multi-hit games in four of his last nine starts. He tripled to lead off the second inning tonight, nearly sending the ball over the very deep and very high fence in center field. Then he laced an RBI single in the fourth, adding to a solid evening for the previously struggling second baseman.__________________________Consistency is important. 2 good at-bats then 2 bad at-bats.

  5. ehay2k - May 31, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    Instant analysis:poor hitting and pitching by committee by guys who can't pitch deep into games is no way to win a ballgame. Also, walking Stanton is very often a brilliant plan.

  6. mick - May 31, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    my analysis is the Nats one day I hope will be the Marlins. Right now we are the O's of the National league. Ozzie had his boys go 21-8 in May. We play scared and our best players (exception Harper) suck compared to the Marlins best players and have a horrible feeling that may be true verse the Braves and Mets best players. i hope I am wrong. Zimmerman's ground balls have gotten old already and espi's wimpy swing is sickening to watch. Don't even get me started on Ankiel taking a 3rd strike fast ball in the middle of the plate. If Perry and him miss the bus, i would not be sad.

  7. mick - May 31, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    at least win one GD game, guys, just 1. good teams do not lose all 3 to a division rival. having said that, the Marlins may be better than the Dodgers so maybe this is not that bad?

  8. mick - May 31, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Espi's batting right handed only i can deal with, scrap the left side of the plate

  9. Gonat - May 31, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    mick, come on. You were making progress and you talk stupidity.The Marlins are 3 player. Reyes, Stanton and Hanley.The Nats had leads in all 3 games. They weren't far out of any of the games. The offense just can't get clutch.

  10. mick - May 31, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    and scarp Ankiel period, he is as worthless batting as Perry is pitching

  11. mick - May 31, 2012 at 2:36 AM

    Gonat, exactly and we could not win 1 of 3. just 1 and we come home 30-20

  12. mick - May 31, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    if we are relying on Ankiel and Bernadina in July we are toast! Morse has to come back and hopefully Corey Brown can catch fire, if not then maybe some blockbuster trade for a stud is needed if we are in the mix. We should be in the mix. I think Wang will come back and pitch well the next few start, if he does not, then we lack a 5th starter and then trouble starts. Do we trade, do have a young arm in Cuse? Does Lannan come back. i hope this does not happen

  13. Gonat - May 31, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    mick, I am as sickened by this as you are. Tomorrow is an off-day so Davey should have been ready if Wang faltered and he wasn't. Very disappointing since we all knew the offense was back to putting up zeros again.

  14. mick - May 31, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    also, if Werth and Tracey can make it back healthy that obviously will help

  15. mick - May 31, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    good point Gonat on Wang and Davey. I thought Davey was out coached by Ozzie period this series. Its not that davey is a bad manager, he is excellent! It is that Ozzie is a very under rated manager and is one of the best. Forget his stupid comments on Castro, etc.. the guy can manage!!

  16. Clip&Store - May 31, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    great freakin mentality boys…sweep the braves, get all high on yourselves, then go to miami and return the favor. and zimm, 1 more day left in may, you can decide to start earning your money any day now.

  17. mick - May 31, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    Clip…. your right Zim was terrible this series. If he hits on Monday, we win, if hits period, we at least win one game of three

  18. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 31, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    We were 1 for 7 in RISP. that makes us 2 for 19 for the series. I know if the people I am responsible for performe their jobs as poorly as that (and for the season now below .225), I would be canned.Noticed that the Angels have started hitting the cover off the ball since they fired their hitting coach and got a new one. I say it is worth a shot, as I ahve not seen him alk to one batter during a game yet (granted they don't show the dugout much, but when they do he is just writing in his silly notebook, however he is not teaching from the book).Davey is either a lier or insane. I voted for ler. Saying he was staisfied with Wang. he let 12 guys on out of 22 how could you even think of being satisfied with that. Better to say, I am sure he will be better next game. that would not be a lie. What he said was surely a lie.Did I mentioon fire Eck?

  19. mick - May 31, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    baseball swami… if Perry does not give up the 5th run, this loss would be even worse…. we had a man on 3rd 1 out and then we get Espi and ankiel striking out

  20. Section 222 - May 31, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    In the postgame with Davey, it sounded like the beat writers had never heard of Henry's little accident with the door. (Davey said it was a bathroom door today, yesterday he said it was a car door.) Maybe by Friday we'll find out if he's available in the bullpen or not.He didn't say "Wang's my guy" so I guess we'll see CMW starting again against the Mets.

  21. mick - May 31, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    Manassas fan… I am hoping Davey thinks Wang will only get better. I think that could be the case. I will cut Wang some slack being his first start. For the teams sake, we have to hope he gets better because if he fails we do not have a 5th pitcher a and our once hyped up starting pitching is in trouble. We also have to hit and we may have too many stiffs in the lineup right now including Zim

  22. mick - May 31, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    Eck sucks and his time is up. My goodness, how will hurt to make change? The ankiel at bat says it all Eck sucks period!!!!

  23. Clip&Store - May 31, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    FIRE RICK ECCKSTEIN! omfg, its not like it can possibly hurt our offense morse

  24. NatsLady - May 31, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    The M's are beating Texas 21-7. There goes the Rangers' run differential.

  25. Unknown - May 31, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    I hate that the Nats got swept and are clinging to 1st place by a thread and are only 3 games out of last, but, even if they salvaged 1 game, and they should have since they led all 3, they STILL would be 1.5 games in first and only FOUR games out of last. I can't tell if the glass if half-empty or half-full or just filled halfway…The Nats were 14-4, and are 15-17 since. So, a .500 team, but, wait, so many injuries and now some guys are back, soon the BEAST, soon DeRosa, soon Lidge, in a month or so Storen, in two months or so Werth and Tracy. Will it still matter by then? Honestly, I don't know how good or bad these guys will be the rest of the year. What's wrong with Zim? Where did his power go? Or is his shoulder still a mess and this is as good as it gets? Will it drive me crazy or should I enjoy the ride?It is tough being a Nats fan, but, heck, it beats the last 7 years (minus June 2005) anyway. What's kills me is they could win as many as 86 games and finish in LAST in this division — or FIRST. Someone convince me that this is FUN! It is, right?

  26. NatsLady - May 31, 2012 at 3:13 AM

    Yesterday the M's beat the Rangers 10-3. As a team, the M's are batting .229.

  27. DWS - May 31, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    Thanks Natslady and unknown for a little sanity.Uh, marathon?

  28. peric - May 31, 2012 at 3:30 AM

    Should have stuck with Detwiler Davey … Rigggleman-thinking never really works … and with the Nats it typically means dead last place in the NL East.

  29. peric - May 31, 2012 at 3:32 AM

    Espinosa looks a little better a foot but I still think he has an injury issue … but it doesn't appear to be as bad as Zim's shoulder.

  30. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 31, 2012 at 3:33 AM

    We led going into the middle innings in all three of these games. All were in our hands to win if the pitchers would do their job. Granted little hitting, but enough to give us the lead each time into the middle innings. Detwiler though not great is OK for a fifth starter. Wang probably is ok too, but there was no reason to fix something that was not really broken. JZim this year has pitched usually just good enough to lose. EJax the same.Our hitters have not given them enough runs enough of the time. However nboth had leads here, and gave them up.Davey's buiggest complaint was the starters pitching too many pitches in too few innings. They still have that problem. Pitch to contact. keep the ball low and let them beat it into the ground. they find enough holes they win.U am betting they won't find them.

  31. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 31, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    did someone just tweet Eck was fired?

  32. Unknown - May 31, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    Mannasas fan, well, 29-21 is pretty good. Hopefully Nats can duplicate it next 50 with the BEAST and others back. Fish will eventually cool off….I hope.

  33. NationalsDL - May 31, 2012 at 3:43 AM

    Is everyone forgetting we are still in 1st place, we just completed a road successful road trip, Miami got us wore out from a short turn around, and Beast Mode is almost back?I'm excited, and not intimidated by the Marlins at all. One hot month doesn't prevent Hanley from going beserk, Stanton from getting cold, or the injury bug hitting them like it has the Nats.It's not all peaches from here on out, but the previous Nats editions were out of contention at this point. .500 ball from here on out gives us a 85-77 record. That's success in my book.

  34. Section 222 - May 31, 2012 at 4:19 AM

    So I just read Amanda's piece about Wilson Ramos's young friend. (Thanks for posting the link MichelleS.) Touching story, but I have to say I wasn't that impressed by the $3,500 that Zim's appeal raised. That's less than $150 from each player on the roster (not to mention coaches and others). Considering there are several guys who make more than a million a year in that group, I sure hope they can come up with a little more. Maybe some of them didn't have their checkbook's with them….

  35. peric - May 31, 2012 at 4:19 AM

    It's not all peaches from here on out, but the previous Nats editions were out of contention at this point. .500 ball from here on out gives us a 85-77 record. That's success in my book.Davey might not be happy with that record … but truer words were never spoke relative to the Nats.

  36. Joe Seamhead - May 31, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    I want to clarify something going back to the game thread. To start with, I love Steve Lombardozzi…as a second baseman. In the fourth inning when Wang walked two batters, got one out , had guys on 2nd and 3rd,Coughlin hit a fly ball to shallow left, scoring Morrison. Lombo made a painfully soft, lollipop throw to the plate. A LF with an average ML arm gets the out at the plate, and the inning would be over with the Nats still winning 3-1.Instead, the run scores, the runner on 2nd advances to 3rd,and scores on the next play . I got blasted on the thread, but I went back and watched it again and Lombo made a weak throw.It's not his fault, but he does not have a ML outfielder's arm. And yes, I think if any other outfielder on the Nats had been playing left field, the runner would have likely been out at the plate.That's my opinion.

  37. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 31, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    I know we are in first place, but we let three games slip away that we were in the lead in the middle innings. We could have been further ahead in first place had we not.Granted the old Nats would not be near first.This series was more like the circa 2009 2010 type of game, and we don't want to see those kinds of habits start up again.That is what we are saying.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 85 63 -- 4
ATLANTA 75 74 10.5
MIAMI 72 76 13.0
NEW YORK 72 78 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 80 16.5
Through Sunday's games

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MON: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
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