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Game 103: Nats at Marlins

Jul 28, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

MIAMI — Hello from the one and only (and thank god for that) Marlins Park, where tonight the Nationals open up the final leg of their 3-city road trip, facing a Miami club that has won 7 of its last 8. I have to say I am quite outraged at the moment. Though the accompanying photo doesn’t show it, my press box seat leaves me with an obstructed view of the famed home run thingamabob! Who do I speak to about this travesty?

In actual baseball news, the Nationals send Jordan Zimmermann to the mound, looking for a crisper performance than he had earlier on this road trip in Colorado, his first start after suffering from a strained biceps muscle. We’ll see if the right-hander looks a little more like himself this time.

The Marlins have right-hander Nathan Eovaldi pitching, but Matt Williams will stay with Danny Espinosa as his second baseman, one day after Espinosa picked up a hit off a righty in Cincinnati. Otherwise, it’s the standard lineup for the Nats.

Plenty of updates to come, so please check back…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at MIAMI MARLINS
Where: Marlins Park
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 869, MLB.com
Weather: Indoors

NATIONALS (57-45)
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Bryce Harper
C Wilson Ramos
2B Danny Espinosa
RHP Jordan Zimmermann

MARLINS (51-53)
LF Christian Yelich
2B Jordany Valdespin
RF Giancarlo Stanton
3B Casey McGehee
1B Garrett Jones
CF Marcell Ozuna
C Jarrod Saltamacchia
SS Adeiny Hechavarria
RHP Nathan Eovaldi

UMPIRES
HP Brian O’Nora
1B D.J. Reyburn
2B Ben May
3B Jeff Kellogg (cc)

7:10 p.m. — And we’re underway. It’s 90 degrees outside, but a more-comfortable 80 degrees indoors as Denard Span takes ball one from Nathan Eovaldi.

7:27 p.m. — And 17 minutes and 31 pitches later, the top of the first is complete, the Nationals having manufactured one run off Eovaldi thanks to Anthony Rendon’s single, Jayson Werth’s walk, a wild pitch and Adam LaRoche’s sac fly. The Nats really made Eovaldi work, forcing him to throw more than six pitches on average to each batter. They’d obviously like to have scored more than one run out of it all, but they’ve already started to wear the right-hander down, so that’s a good thing. 1-0 as Jordan Zimmermann takes the mound.

7:30 p.m. — A nice first inning for Zimmermann, who retired the side on 17 pitches and displayed pretty good fastball command. He got Giancarlo Stantion fishing at a 3-2 breaking ball to end the 1-2-3 inning. Amazingly, that’s seven consecutive strikeouts now for Stanton. So I guess he’s one more away from a double golden sombrero?

7:50 p.m. — Zimmermann gave up a couple of hard-hit balls in the bottom of the second, but there was no real damage. His fastball command has been much improved from his last start in Colorado, a particular point of emphasis tonight. Still 1-0 Nats after two.

8:02 p.m. — Both pitchers have found their grooves now. Eovaldi has retired eight straight since the LaRoche sac fly in the first. Zimmermann has retired six straight and 9 of 10 overall. He needed only six pitches to get through the bottom of the third, giving him 40 total on the night.

8:13 p.m. — Make it four scoreless innings for Zimmermann on 50 pitches. He has retired nine in a row, and his lone blemish remains McGehee’s singe to center to lead off the second. We’ve got a pitchers’ duel here, folks, still 1-0 Nats heading to the fifth.

8:30 p.m. — We’ve seen Harper try to throw behind the runner at first base a few times this season, usually without positive results. This time, though, it worked. After Jarrod Saltalamacchia beat the Nationals’ shift with a single to left, Harper fired all the way back to LaRoche. Saltalamacchia decided to bolt for second, but LaRoche’s throw to Rendon (who actually covered second because of the shift) beat him. So it’s a single, then a 7-3-5 out to end the fifth. Crazy.

9:00 p.m. — The Nats finally got to Eovaldi in the top of the sixth, and then continued the damage against a wild Dan Jennings. Three straight singles by Span, Rendon and Werth brought one run home. Then with the bases loaded and one out, Mike Redmond summoned Jennings to face Harper. It was the right move, though Harper did enter the at-bat with a .341 batting average and .919 OPS vs. left-handers this season. He smoked the first pitch he saw up the middle, looking for a moment like an inning-ending double play. But the ball took a bad hop on Hechavarria, who nearly pulled off a spectacular play but instead lost a handle on the ball as he tried to feed it to second base. It was ruled an error, bringing a run home. Ramos’ bases-loaded walk brought home another run, and then Espinosa’s single to center (batting right-handed) brought home two more. Just like that, the Nats lead 6-0 in the sixth.

9:17 p.m. — Uh-oh, Werth had an awkward-looking slide attempt at second base in the top of the seventh and kind of hobbled off the field. Looked like maybe a groin issue. He has been replaced by Nate McLouth for the bottom of the seventh. It’s a 6-0 game, so perhaps things would be different if this was a closer contest. We’ll find out postgame.

9:27 p.m. — The Marlins finally got to Zimmermann in the bottom of the seventh, scoring two runs, though an ill-advised dive attempt by McLouth on a sinking liner didn’t help matters. It’s 6-2 now heading to the eighth, and whatever hope Zimmermann had of a complete game may be gone.

9:41 p.m. — In plenty of other parks, Harper would have just gone oppo boppo. Here, though, it’s a mere double off the 386-foot sign in left-center. Bryce has hit the ball quite well tonight, a very good sign for the Nats. Zimmermann’s night is done, by the way. His final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 91 pitches, 61 strikes. Again, the key was excellent fastball command.

9:57 p.m. — Things are getting a bit dicier than Matt Williams would like, with Ross Detwiler giving up a run in the eighth and departing with another runner on third and Stanton at the plate. Enter Drew Storen, who pitched the big slugger impressively. Storen backed Stanton off the plate with an inside fastball, then got him to flail at a pair of outside sliders. Nicely done, protecting the Nats’ 6-3 lead after eight.

10:03 p.m. — To the bottom of the ninth we go. It’s Rafael Soriano vs. McGehee, Jones and Ozuna, the Nats up 6-3.

10:28 p.m. — Oh, boy, that was really bad. Soriano blew it in the ninth, giving up three runs to tie it before getting yanked with the winning run on third. Jerry Blevins entered and after striking out Christian Yelich served up the game-wining hit to Jeff Baker over Bryce Harper’s head in left. A 6-0 lead turned into a 7-6 loss.

455 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. manassasnatsfan - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    Lead off walks are totally inexcusable.

    Every pitch has been up. Why is McCatty sitting on his ass?

  2. Section 222 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    I’m sick of seeing that Miccosuke ad on the right center field wall.

  3. philipd763 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    Shame on MW for leaving this pathetic turkey in the game!

  4. janebeard - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Except now all we can do is hope Clip gets in for the extra innings.

  5. Danny - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    A little late on the mound visit Id say..

  6. scnatsfan - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Now McCatty comes out. It’s like they don’t want to upset Soriano.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:21 PM

      McCarty should have been out after second batter.

  7. manassasnatsfan - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Harper not scoring 7th run comes back to haunt

  8. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Damn Sori…. Damn.

  9. secretwasianman - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    I told you so. I would trade this guy tommotow. F you Soriano. there best hitter is put out by Storen and you brimg in this BUM just to pad his numbers. its bout wins not stats,

    • Danny - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:21 PM

      Anything else?

      • secretwasianman - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:25 PM

        yes. MW should apologize to everyone on the team for pissing away a good game. and now JERYY MATthers as the Beaver comes in/

  10. Eric - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    Ugh. I just threw up in my mouth a little

  11. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    After the 2nd batter you go into stall mode and get Clippard up. I’m sorry, team before player.

    • secretwasianman - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:23 PM

      yes yes.

      • natinalsgo - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:26 PM

        Important lesson when your closer can’t find the plate, it aint going to get better.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:25 PM

      Correct

    • coop202 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:27 PM

      No

  12. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    Now he pulls him. Poor.

  13. secretwasianman - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    just forfeit MW get him out of there. I would trade that stiff for a bag of balls. he has shown signs the last two games of blowin up. it finally happened.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:24 PM

      Do you forget who is first place again. I don’t trade over this.

  14. manassasnatsfan - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    Damn you Matt now you come out. Why do you wai t until to late. Not one pitch that inning was good. Were you not watching? Either a ball or a high strike

  15. David Proctor - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    HBP isn’t a bad thing. That run is meaningless and it sets up a DP. Obviously wasn’t intentional, but it doesn’t hurt.

  16. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    Fiasco. That’s one way to describe it.

    “@ZuckermanCSN: 6 batters into this fiasco (5 reached safely), Williams takes the ball from Soriano. It’s Blevins to face Yelich with winning run on 3B.”

  17. coop202 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    He’s been the best closer in the league. Nightmares of 2012 be damned – he’s escaped the jam a ton this year. We lose this it’s not ideal, but seriously folks… Everything was the right choice minus really werth going for two…

  18. Section 222 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    First, MW should have stuck with Drew. At least give him a shot. Second, and I have said this for years, if a closer doesn’t have it, you have to be willing to hook him. With a one run lead, often there isn’t time to get someone ready, but here there was. Bad managing Matt. Let this be a lesson to you.

    • Danny - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:27 PM

      How is the situation any didn’t tonight? Soriano just didn’t have it. Could have pulled him earlier I guess.

      • Section 222 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:29 PM

        Exactly.

  19. manassasnatsfan - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    Blevins we have had enough balls

  20. Joe Seamhead - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    Come on, Blevins. We need you now,pal.

  21. philipd763 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    This game is over and MW deserves to lose. Wonder how he will polish the turd (Soriano) in the post game interview?

    • Danny - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:27 PM

      1 more out says it’s not.

  22. secretwasianman - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    Soriano doesn’t even get people out by accident. if Harper scores in the 8th. to make it 7-3 SORRY HEAD NEFER comes in.

  23. manassasnatsfan - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    Who is in for Baker

  24. David Proctor - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    We need a righty in to face Baker. This is a horrible matchup

  25. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    Nice pitching Blevins. I go to get the righty here. Huh what?

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:28 PM

      Wow, is all I can say. Why Matt why do you leave Blevins in.

  26. David Proctor - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    That was predictible

    • Danny - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:28 PM

      Grooves a fastball.

  27. janebeard - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    This one hurts. They flat out won it from us.

  28. manassasnatsfan - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    Damn you MW WHY Blevins for a righty?

  29. Eric - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    Holy fugg.

    Really hope Stras steps it up tomorrow.

    • secretwasianman - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:29 PM

      whor cares if stras steps up. Jerry Mathers and SORRY OH NO will just poop it away

      • Eric - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:30 PM

        Yeah…uh…OK.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:36 PM

        You are already negative for tomorrow. Why? I assume we win the series. You always assume the worse.

  30. Joe Seamhead - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    Uh-oh. Here comes the hate.

    • coop202 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:32 PM

      +1

  31. secretwasianman - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    LOL best bullpen in the majors my ass. Way to hang that thing JERRY

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:32 PM

      I believe they are third. You are always here for losses? Why not here for wins. I don’t get your negativity. I am looking at the standings we are first. What place do you want us to be in?

      • manassasnatsfan - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:34 PM

        Sorry second best.

  32. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    Blevins is a LoOgY… Why would you do that?

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:30 PM

      Idiotic move that is why?

  33. manassasnatsfan - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    I asked who for Baker, obviously can’t have Blevins. Is Mw pulling a/DJ? slept through that inning?

  34. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    I’m almost speechless.

  35. scmargenau - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    Ok. There are concerns. I just hope we address them. I’ll leave it at that

  36. joemktg - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    In a playoff game with a one run lead, is Soriano your guy to close things out?

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:33 PM

      As of now he is. 25 of 29

    • joemktg - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:35 PM

      Not with one run against another playoff team.

    • scmargenau - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:17 PM

      No way. I’d rather see dru

  37. coop202 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    Well… Might as well bring back an actual loss for people to complain about – was getting bored of the Harper hate. Bad turn late, fortunately there’s always tomorrow. More importantly, here’s hoping werth is healthy (FYI, if you want a scapegoat moment it’s that play)

    • manassasnatsfan - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:34 PM

      Not sure why Harper didn’t score after the double.

  38. scmargenau - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    Ray speaks the truth

  39. breakbad1 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    Proctor and Ghost asked why MW left Blevins in to face the righty. We had Stammen and Clippard available. Post of the day to Proctor and Ghost., sadly.

  40. breakbad1 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    MUST go to Storen to close. In April, I predicted this would happen by All-Star break. It must happen now.

  41. coop202 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    You mean the closer with the best conversion rate in the league?

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 90 64 --
ATLANTA 76 78 14.0
NEW YORK 75 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 80 16.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 84 19.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Saturday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (5) 90 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 67 2.5
ST. LOUIS 87 68 3.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 70 6.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 75 10.5 3.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Saturday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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