Most important pitch (Nationals pitching): Adeiny Hechavarria grounds into double play (-0.158)
Don’t say the Miami Marlins didn’t get any chances. In all three games, their most important at bat was a double play. The Marlins had three players reach third base. The bad news is that all of them reached third base after a double play. You can’t expect to give up 0.33 runs per game, but if you get timely double plays every game, it won’t be very high.
Most important at-bat (Nationals hitting): Ryan Zimmerman‘s first inning double (+0.173)
When games are one sided, these moments that mattered tend to be pretty boring. However, the thing about Zimmerman’s double was where that pitch was located:
Not one pitch in the strike zone, and it still ends up being a two-run double. The pitch Zimmerman hit (the lowest one) may have been the worst pitch of the entire at bat. If that doesn’t prove how good and how powerful Zimmerman is, nothing will. How demoralizing must that be for a pitcher?
Honorable Mention: Jayson Werth‘s home run
When the game was 3-1, the Marlins had to score four runs to win. When Werth it his home run, they would need seven. It didn’t raise the WPA up much, but it was the exclamation point that gave the Nationals the start they needed as the first month and a half of the season may just be the hardest part of their schedule.
It wasn’t Werth’s biggest home run to left field at Nationals Park but if he could get his power back with a healthy wrist, this very good Nats lineup just got a lot scarier to go with a darn right terrifying pitching staff.