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Instant Analysis: Marlins 3, Nats 2

May 26, 2014, 4:22 PM EST

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

GAME IN A NUTSHELL: The Marlins entered Nationals Park on Monday with the worst road record in the majors, and Tanner Roark took the mound for Washington with a 0.78 ERA across 46 innings at home. Though those numbers would suggest a favorable matchup for the Nats, their Memorial Day bout with Miami didn’t go quite as planned.

Roark had allowed four earned runs in those 11 home games, but on Monday he gave up three in the first three innings. The second and third came on a monster home run by Giancarlo Stanton. He blasted a 83 mile per hour slider off the back wall of the groundskeeper area in center field. It was his NL-best 15th of the season and his 21st in 61 career games against the Nationals.

Roark wasn’t bad at all – he settled in to go seven innings – he just couldn’t match Nathan Eovaldi on this particular afternoon. Eovaldi was brilliant, only allowing three baserunners through his first 6 1/3 innings. The Nationals broke through in the seventh with an Adam LaRoche home run, but it wasn’t enough to get the win. Eovaldi was hitting 97 and 98 all day, baffling Nationals hitters into pop-ups and groundouts.

HITTING LOWLIGHT: Through 6 1/3 innings the Nationals couldn’t get anything going against Eovaldi before Jayson Werth finally came through with the team’s second hit, a one out single. LaRoche then followed with a towering home run into the second deck in right field. It was LaRoche’s sixth homer of the season and it gave the Nats some much-needed offensive life.

The two runs, however, were all the Nationals could muster. After 23 games in the month of May they have 72 runs. That breaks down to 3.13 runs per game. Though injuries have been a big problem, the only two players they are now missing from their Opening Day lineup are Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper. At some point they have to get their bats going.

PITCHING HIGHLIGHT: Roark had the worst start of his career at Nationals Park, but considering how good he was before Monday, that’s not saying much. He gave up three earned runs through the first three innings before finding his groove to throw four more scoreless frames.

He was particular strong late in his outing before being replaced by Tyler Moore in a pinch-hitting situation. He needed a total of 16 pitches to get through the sixth and seventh innings. Here was Roark’s final line: 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, 4 SO, HBP, HR. 95 pitches, 62 strikes.

KEY STAT(S): Stanton’s home run was his 21st in 61 career games against the Nationals. At 24-years-old and in his fifth season, he already has 132 career homers. He now has 21 home runs and 50 RBI vs. the Nats, only the second player in the majors to have at least 20 homers and 48 RBI against a team since 2010. The other is Jose Bautista who has 23 and 50 in games against the Red Sox.

UP NEXT: The Nationals and Marlins pick back up tomorrow for the second game of the series, a 7:05 p.m. start. Black Treinen (0-2, 1.56) will make his third start of the year while right-hander Henderson Alvarez (2-3, 3.21) will take the mound for Miami.

  1. Danny - May 26, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    Darn.

  2. veejh - May 26, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    Just hit the damn ball and the wins will come. Roark kept us in this. They let him down. Starters have to be getting frustrated. They nearly need to be perfect to get wins.

  3. Joe Seamhead - May 26, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    You ain’t going to beat many ML teams with 3 hits.

    • manassasnatsfan - May 26, 2014 at 4:31 PM

      The hitting approach is bad all season and is getting worse by the day.

      It so easy to fix if the hitters were will fix which my personal thought they are not.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 26, 2014 at 4:59 PM

        They had 10 hits yesterday. How soon you forget.

      • Burned once - May 26, 2014 at 5:35 PM

        10 hits off guy having a bad day. If the opposing pitcher isn’t throwing Bp, we can’t hit it. Throughout, this line up is baffled by adequate pitching. The young ones led by Espinosa are stiff-necked and refuse to adjust or respond to coaching. Not a major league line up yesterday notwithstanding.

      • manassasnatsfan - May 26, 2014 at 7:16 PM

        Yesterday they were hitting to right. Yesterday Espi’s ass was on the butch. When he is there, they all seem to fade.

        I can’t wait for Zim to be back and Espi nowhere near starting line it effects them all.

  4. veejh - May 26, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    Sox and Braves 6-6 on a delay. Break that streak Boston.

  5. manassasnatsfan - May 26, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    The hitters approach needs a lot of fixing.

    The approach is terrible. 100% time outer half pitch go the other way. Inner half pull. Middle half drive toward the middle.

    When we go the other way on outside pitches we do fine we pull them always 100% ground outs.

    Rick Schu needs to actually coach and quit being a spectator. Why bother having a coach if he is going not stop bad approaches.

  6. sjm308 - May 26, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Not going to stop mind you, but this is a really tough team to watch or listen to. At least I got lots of yard work done and the car washed. Not many opportunities to go inside and watch a great play or big hit (by my count two, Espinosa’s nice play and LaRoche’s homerun. I did go in for the bottom of the 9th hoping to change our luck but it obviously did not work. I am still not a big Carp fan and his wonderment at why Frandsen was up instead of the left handed Danny make me even more convinced that he is a raging homer. Question – if by some miracle Frandsen got on and then McClouth also reached base, who was left in the dugout to pinch hit? I am thinking Lobaton and Hairston and I guess he would have gone with Lobaton.

    Got to get out of a mindset where a loss creeps in to but a damper on the day. Off to bike and recharge.

    Go Nats!! .500 or bust!

    • manassasnatsfan - May 26, 2014 at 4:42 PM

      We just simply need to hit for contact and quit hitting for the fences.

      Our pitchers deserve a lit more than the hitters provide.

      • Eugene in Oregon - May 26, 2014 at 4:44 PM

        +1

    • chaz11963 - May 26, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      For sure… very frustrating… and unfortunately reminds me a lot of 2013. BUT, I really do believe in these guys. They have the talent, a big chunk of the offense has been hurt, and when they are all back whole again is when we should expect some big things. With their talent they could rip off an 8-10 game win streak.

  7. secretwasianman - May 26, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    I’m going to refrain today from blasting this team. There not underachieving there just not very good. I will however take a Blast at the home plate umpire. Our best hitter up in the 8 and not one ball thrown to him is a strike. Yet the ump calls two of them strike and therefore ALR is forced to swing at a ball outside. Nats having enough trouble that they did need the umps against them

    • secretwasianman - May 26, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      Don’t not did

    • manassasnatsfan - May 26, 2014 at 5:01 PM

      All 5 pitches were outside none appeared close. Nit sure what the ump was looking out.

      On the other hand Espi called strike 3 in the 9th was a strike.

      • secretwasianman - May 26, 2014 at 5:06 PM

        You mean Desmond. And yes it was a strike

      • Nats Amore - May 26, 2014 at 6:16 PM

        This time you’re mostly right. Check out Brooks Baseball Pitch F/X. The only pitch that was actually a strike was the one he swung at. Pitch F/X is endorsed by MLB and I believe is in every park. It was invented by some physicists at U. Of Illinois, a top-tier school for sciences, so I’m thinking they’re pretty sharp guys.

      • manassasnatsfan - May 26, 2014 at 7:19 PM

        Well first were all balls then LaRoche walks. The point is the umpire was terrible again.

        How hard can it be to duplicate your calls with the machine. If the machine is accurate then why are the umps not learning from the machine? Seems to me they are as unciachable as Esoi’s hitting.

    • veejh - May 26, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      Rendon led off and was rung up on an inside pitch on a 3-2 count. That would have crucial to get the leadoff guy on, but noooOOOOOoooooo.

      • secretwasianman - May 26, 2014 at 5:13 PM

        I know you get instantly tossed for arguing balls and strikes. But it’s time MW takes one for the team and does it.

      • manassasnatsfan - May 26, 2014 at 7:22 PM

        MW is nit defending his batters for sure.

        Get tossed right take the print out from the university of Illinois out to ump. Say nothing, see if they toss you.

        You didn’t argue, just provided information.

        My question do the umps get one of the Illinois print outs every game. I Joe Torrent must not as nothing is improving.

    • veejh - May 26, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      …….and I disagree..they are definitely underachieving. Werth, Ramos, Rendon all hitting way below their potential at the moment. Dez has been coming around, along w Span, but still the consistency just isnt there right now. I remain hopeful things will change in the near future.

    • chaz11963 - May 26, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      Does everyone agree that this team is just not very good? That seems extreme to me.

      • veejh - May 26, 2014 at 5:17 PM

        Hellz no.

      • manassasnatsfan - May 26, 2014 at 7:24 PM

        The team is fine. They are for the most part way under achieving.

  8. stoatva - May 26, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    I really, really regret Williams’ using TMo to pinch hit against Dunn in the seventh instead of Hairston. But I will give him credit for finally pulling the plug on Espinosa in the ninth, though by then it was too late.

    Wonder if Espi gets tomorrow evening off.

    • manassasnatsfan - May 26, 2014 at 5:03 PM

      I was thinking Hairston too, but whoever goes in needs to swing at strikes not balls. Both of them have that problem not just Moore.

    • secretwasianman - May 26, 2014 at 5:08 PM

      I really really regret playing Espi at all.

    • knoxvillenat - May 26, 2014 at 5:35 PM

      Listening to Charlie and Dave when TyMo pinch hit, they were saying Hairston was 0 for 7 against Dunn and I think they said six K’s.

  9. Joe Seamhead - May 26, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    Off topic, but I think a short road trip is forming for me and the missus. Thinking about a day trip to Harrisburg Thursday mainly to get a look at Michael Taylor. They have a 10:30 a.m. start on Thursday, so figured it’s a 2 hour drive from my place, could drive up,catch the game, and be home for dinner and the Nats game. I have no idea who will be pitching, though it seems unlikely to be A.J. Cole.

    • stoatva - May 26, 2014 at 5:30 PM

      Have fun. Went up to Hagerstown a few years back to see Bryce (he went 4 for 5 and hit his only pro grand slam) and it was the proverbial barrel of monkeys.

    • chaz11963 - May 26, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      Traffic between Frederick and Hagerstown on 70 is terrible.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 26, 2014 at 5:50 PM

        I make the trip to Cumberland periodically, Chaz. You have to time things right going to hagerstown, but you go 15 to Harrisburg, not 340.

    • dcwx61 - May 26, 2014 at 6:07 PM

      Go somewhere that has nothing to do with baseball and take her out to dinner. Baseball you’ll always have

      • Joe Seamhead - May 26, 2014 at 6:32 PM

        She loves baseball. I’m grilling portobello mushrooms stuffed with crabmeat right here tonight. Though we do like to go out for dinner, we both love to cook ,and honestly can each prepare a meal better then we get in most restaurants. She is gung ho to make a pilgrimage to Coopetstown, too.

      • dcwx61 - May 26, 2014 at 9:08 PM

        You are a lucky man, Joe

        Enjoy

  10. veejh - May 26, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    Hey, Sox up 8-6.

  11. NatsLady - May 26, 2014 at 6:14 PM

    I couldn’t tell what their game plan was against Eovaldi. In the first inning Span and Rendon worked the count, and we knew the Marlins’ middle relief was chancy, so I thought good, this guy’s a real hard thrower, get his pitch count up and he’ll get tired and get ou of there.

    Then Charlie and Dave said the Giants had good success being aggressive and going for Eovaldi’s first pitch fastball. And wouldn’t you know it, just as I heard that, Werth goes up first-pitch swinging. So which is it?

    • NatsLady - May 26, 2014 at 6:21 PM

      Also I felt we should have clobbered Mike Dunn. Finally got an opening and didn’t take advantage.

      Red Sox finally won.

  12. veejh - May 26, 2014 at 6:27 PM

    Morse beasting for the Giants. I doubt he would have minded getting $5M to be a bench guy.

  13. Eugene in Oregon - May 26, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    From write-up (above): “The two runs, however, were all the Nationals could muster. After 23 games in the month of May they have 72 runs. That breaks down to 3.13 runs per game.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    And if you delete the one aberration — the 9 runs scored against the Reds last week — you get 63 runs in 22 games, which equals 2.86 runs/game. Ouch.

  14. Zona - May 26, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    McLouth and espi cannot play together. Just creates a huge hole in the bottom half of the lineup.

    • manassasnatsfan - May 26, 2014 at 7:32 PM

      MW is clueless to that.

  15. chaz11963 - May 26, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    The bottom of the line-up is an offensive desert. They were 0-9 with 5 Ks today. Just when you start to think Desi is turning a corner, he goes 0-4 with 3 Ks.

  16. karlkolchak - May 26, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    I’m thinking that if the Rangers make any kind of decent offer for Moore, the Nats should take it. Call up Souza and stick him out there until Bryce gets back. He could hardly be worse than the having McOut in the lineup.

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