Game two of the Washington Nationals three game series in Miami featured timely hitting, a three run home run and a good starting pitching performance. Unfortunately that was the night turned in by the Miami Marlins. The Miami Marlins tattooed Nats starter Dan Haren in his third start of the year.
The Nats were without the services of Bryce Harper and Denard Span for the game. Both players had an evil case of the stomach flu–and let us hope no one else catches it. Roger Bernadina got his first start of the year in center and Tyler Moore played in left field. Adam LaRoche was back in the lineup, but Danny Espinosa was replaced by Steve Lombardozzi for the second game in a row due to the sore wrist he is dealing with after getting hit by a pitch.
Alex Sanabia was the starting pitcher for the Marlins and had the Nats hitters in front of his pitches most of the night. Sanabia does not feature much of a fastball, which can make him effective against major league hitters who miss his 85-89 mph stuff. Sanabia went six innings and only gave up two runs, both in the sixth inning on doubles by LaRoche, Moore and Lombardozzi.
Dan Haren, the Nationals starter, did not get out of the fifth inning. Haren gave up four runs in the fourth inning. It all started with one out on another throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman, allowing Placido Polanco to be safe at first. Greg Dobbs singled, sending Polanco to third. After getting Rob Brantly to ground out, Justin Ruggiano singled, scoring Polanco. Haren then gave up a three run homer to Adeiny Hechavarria, a player who only hit two home runs last year and who was batting .178 coming into the game.
Haren loaded the bases in the fifth inning only getting one out. Alex Sanabia, the Marlins pitcher, helped his own cause with a single. After Chris Coghlan flew out to right Haren gave up singles to Juan Pierre and Polanco and walked Dobbs, which scored yet another run. Craig Stammen was called upon to put out the bases loaded fire. Stammen allowed two inherited runners to score on a Ruggiano double, but shut the Marlins down after that. At the end of the fifth inning, the score was 7-0 in favor of the Marlins. Stammen also pitched the sixth inning and did not give up a hit, getting his team back in the box quickly.
A.J. Ramos pitched the seventh and eighth innings of effective relief for the Marlins. Henry Rodriguez pitched the seventh inning for the Nats and gave up another run to the Fish. Henry had his usual outing–control problems interspersed with the occasional brilliant pitch. The reason Henry was scored upon was Juan Pierre manufacturing a run against him. Pierre singled and stole second. He then stole third because Rodriguez did not pay any attention to him while he was standing on second. Dobbs then singled Pierre in for another Marlins run.
Juan Pierre continued to bedevil the Nats. Last year when he was with the Philadelphia Phillies he was a pesky out and a problem for Nats pitchers. In this game Pierre was three for four with two stolen bases in this game.
The Nationals did get hits, but could not string them together to bring in runs. Jayson Werth was 2-4, Ryan Zimmerman had a hit and a walk as did LaRoche. Ian Desmond and Moore both had hits and Lombardozzi went 2-4. The Nationals left seven men on base.