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Instant analysis: Nats 2, Marlins 1

Aug 27, 2013, 9:43 PM EST

MLB: Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals

Game in a nutshell: Returning home after a successful road trip through Atlanta, Chicago and Kansas City, the Nationals opened a key stretch in which they’ll play 19 consecutive games against the bottom three clubs in the NL East. First up: the last-place Marlins. The Nats responded by jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning but then forced their pitching staff to do the rest. Ross Ohlendorf churned out five-plus innings, allowing only one run to the final batter he faced. Tanner Roark impressed again, getting through the rest of the sixth. Drew Storen bounced back from his strange outing over the weekend, retiring the side. Tyler Clippard dominated the eighth, striking out feared slugger Giancarlo Stanton on three pitches. That left it all up to Rafael Soriano in the ninth. The struggling closer righted his ship, earned his 34th save and secured the Nationals’ 12th win in their last 17 games.

Hitting highlight: The way they pounced on Nate Eovaldi early, the Nationals looked primed for a big night at the plate. Turns out they needed those two quick runs in the worst way because they were shut down after that. Three singles and an RBI groundout got the job done, though, with Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper getting things started with one out, then Zimmerman scoring on Jayson Werth’s bouncer to third. Ian Desmond followed with a sharp single up the middle, bringing home Harper and giving the Nationals a 2-0 lead they had to hold the rest of the night.

Pitching highlight: He still looks like a guy returning from the DL, but Ohlendorf has nonetheless gotten the job done since coming back from his minor shoulder injury. The right-hander was effective early on Tuesday night, retiring the first nine Marlins he faced. But then he began to fade, allowing four of the next 10 batters to reach. When Ohlendorf took the mound for the top of the sixth, hit pitch count sat at only 76, but Davey Johnson already had Roark warming in the bullpen. Was Davey worried his starter was running on fumes at that point? Perhaps, because as soon as Ohlendorf served up a leadoff homer to Christian Yelich, Capt. Hook emerged from the dugout to make the pitching change. Obviously, he’s still a work-in-progress, but Ohlendorf has gotten the job done.

Key stat: Tyler Clippard has allowed 28 hits in 59 1/3 innings this season.

Up next: The series continues at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday when Stephen Strasburg (currently sitting on 156 innings pitched) figures to establish a new career-high in that department. Right-hander Henderson Alvarez starts for the Marlins.

  1. nats128 - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    What a play by Rendon to end it.

  2. nats128 - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    Davey made the right choice in using Clip in the 8th against there best hitter.

    • mrsblovesthenats - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:49 PM

      Yeah cuz had he listened to me, Roark would have gone back out for the 7th, Storej for the 8th and Clip for the 9th…

  3. mrsblovesthenats - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    I was nervous for Rendon on that last play…. Whew…

    Good going, Nats… Good going!

  4. exposedindc - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    Insanity ending avoided….a solid Soriano will be very helpful in September.

  5. David Proctor - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    Davey says Ohlenorf likely moving into bullpen since he runs out of gas. Roark into rotation.

    • nats128 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:01 PM

      Getting 5 full innings isnt optimal however you know what you have in Ohlendorf. I wouldnt change at this point in the season.

      • mrsblovesthenats - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:04 PM

        I mean it’s not as hell outside… Yeah we wanted more than 5 but he was pretty efficient all night… Just the 1 mistake with the quick hook..

        I would rather leave RossO as the starter and leave Roark in the BP…

  6. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    What would you do if you got a good offer for Dan Haren–and it was from Cincinnati?

    • nats128 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:08 PM

      Nope, cant sell Haren to Cincy

    • David Proctor - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:11 PM

      Absolutely not.

      • jdiame - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:17 PM

        Not to Cinci for sure. What about if its Oakland?

    • paul brandt - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:18 PM

      NL, look at you wanting to stay up late with that statement…if the price was right, I would sell in a heartbeat!

      He will not be the reason we don’t make the post-season with or without him in my 2 cent opinion but awesome & intriguing/stay-up question…haha.

      • sonnyg10 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:32 PM

        I agree with you Paul. If we got something really good for him I’d do it, and still try to knock Cincy out of the wild card. :)

    • mrsblovesthenats - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:20 PM

      Uhm – I would definitely listen and if it’s something really good, sure…

    • farazs1 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:21 PM

      I would ask for Votto in return.

    • farazs1 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:34 PM

      If you are planning to trade Haren, that means you are looking at next season and consider this season lost. In that case, I don’t understand why you would not trade him to Cincinnati?

  7. David Proctor - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    Desi with a good point. He said he thought that Stanton overthought the AB against Clippard. Said Stanton probably hasn’t seen 3 fastballs all year and walked back to the dugout saying “what just happened?”

    • paul brandt - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:21 PM

      why say that tho?

      don’t need stanton seeing that on the bulletin board tomorrow…

    • NatsLady - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:22 PM

      Had to do it. Division “rival,” seen Clip for years. Sitting on change-up. Can’t be predictable.

    • natsfan1a - Aug 28, 2013 at 8:25 AM

      Probably more like “what the #*$% just happened?”

      David Proctor said…

      Desi with a good point. He said he thought that Stanton overthought the AB against Clippard. Said Stanton probably hasn’t seen 3 fastballs all year and walked back to the dugout saying “what just happened?”

  8. ghostofstevem - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    Rosters can expand so 5 to 6 solid innings is good for September and hand it over to the 11 man bullpen.

    • nats128 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:16 PM

      I think that could work however it sounds like Davey thinks he can get more out of Roark.

      • ghostofstevem - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:21 PM

        I expect Haren to be traded and Roark to take Haren’s spot in the rotation.

  9. mrsblovesthenats - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    It’s kinda sick what A Soriano is doing for the Yanks… It sucks to have to root for the Cards and Padres tonight…. But I gotta do, what I gotta do…

  10. David Proctor - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    Right now, I don’t trade Haren at all unless it’s an AMAZING offer. What we do between now and August 31 will have an impact on that. If we lose the next 3 games, sell. If we win the next 3 games, keep him. Anything in between, I’m not sure.

  11. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    Unlikely to get an amazing offer for Haren unless there is an injury on one of the AL East or NL Central teams.

    • nats128 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:27 PM

      I think you are right unless Rizzo can find a top prospect who is blocked. Think Ramos from the Twins.

      • ghostofstevem - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:30 PM

        Good point. Matt Capps for Ramos is how you want to leverage it.

  12. NatsLady - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    In reply to a question on the Game Thread: Who is more dangerous for the Nats, Stanton or McCuthen? McCutchen–in theory. Since we are playing the Marlins–Stanton.

    • David Proctor - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:39 PM

      The key to beating the Marlins is getting the guys before Stanton out. Solo home runs don’t kill you unless you give up a ton of them. The Pirates have other guys who contribute except McCutchen so it’s harder.

  13. nats128 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    Tommy Milone beat Justin Verlander.

    • David Proctor - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:41 PM

      I thought he got sent to AAA?

      • nats128 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:46 PM

        He was and was recalled.

  14. Steady Eddie - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    To anyone who believes that the Nats are uniquely bad in hitting with runners in scoring position among those teams That are contending or pretending to contend this season, take a look at the play-by-play for the Reds tonight. First two innings, runners at first and third, no run scored. Third inning leadoff single then Votto double-play. Fourth inning Jay Bruce leadoff double then two-out walk to Cozart, then Matt Latos single up the middle not only does no one score, both runners end up at third base. Talk about boneheaded baserunning. Fifth inning, they finally scored on a leadoff homer but leave to runners who walk stranded. Again.

    And the cards picture was Joe Kelly who’s not all that much better than Eovaldi. 3.01 BR a versus 3.8 too sure but a lot of that has to be the cards better fielding. Eovaldi has a 1.2 5WH I P versus Kelly’s 1.37.

  15. sonnyg10 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    Attendance tonight was 24616.

  16. Steady Eddie - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    That’s ERA not BR, 3.82 not 3.8 to, pitcher not picture. Used auto dictation because of I’m not on wifi, my iPhone won’t let me type in on this platform without bouncing around wildly, at least while riding on the Metro.

  17. David Proctor - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    The Reds look completely defeated right now. Hanging their heads, moping around. An announcer described them as “lethargic.”

  18. acsportsfn - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Now if we can get the big 3 to tighten up and get some wins , we could make a run.

    • yankish2 - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:23 PM

      The next meaningful run the Nats make will be next year out of spring training.

  19. acsportsfn - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Reds lose…they have 5 vrs cards, 3 at rockies and 3 vrs dodgers coming up..wow!!

  20. David Proctor - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Strasburg has to step up tomorrow. Pitch like he did against the Cubs…but without the home run at the end.

  21. whatsanattau - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    Keep Haren. Give him a qualifying offer and either sign him or get the draft pick. … Unless you can get a legitimate second base prospect in trade.

  22. natsfan1a - Aug 28, 2013 at 7:26 AM

    See also Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard. Well done, boys. Well done. I didn’t even need to pace around the room in the 9th last night. Niiiice.

    “Pitching highlight: He still looks like a guy returning from the DL, but Ohlendorf has nonetheless gotten the job done since coming back from his minor shoulder injury.”

  23. Section 222 - Aug 28, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    No way they give Haren a qualifying offer. He might take it. He’s this year’s E-Jax. Some other team will pick him up, probably at a lower salary than he had this year, and he’ll disappoint them too. There will be better rentals to be had if Rizzo wants to fill out our rotation that way.

    It was nice to be back at the park last night and to see a good clean win. Distressing that once again the offense pretty much shut down after the first inning. I would have felt a lot better going into the 9th with a 3-1 or 4-1 lead.

    Clipp is a beast. Steps right up and challenges one of the premier power hitters in the game today, and sends him back to the dugout shaking his head. Great stuff.

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