Most Important Nationals Hit: Ian Desmond‘s double (+0.065)
Tonight was the exact opposite of yesterday. It was the Marlins’ turn to jump all over the Nats early, which means an inconsequential inning-starting double in the second was the most significant offense the Nationals could generate until it was too late. The two runs that the Nats did actually generate were only +2.3% total, because they came when the Nats trailed by seven.
Most Important Nationals Pitch: Adeiny Hechavarria‘s three-run homer (-0.210)
For the second time in four games, a Ryan Zimmerman error has cost the Nationals dearly. With one out, a throwing error by him allowed Placido Polanco on base. Two singles and a groundout later, Hechavarria took Dan Haren yard, making for four unearned runs in the frame. By the time it was all over, the Nats’ Win Expectancy was only 8.8%.
Champ of the Game: Two Nationals had positive WPAs. Jayson Werth had the most, at +0.063, after going 2-4 with two early singles that allowed him to bump his WPA up when the game’s outcome was still in question. For Miami, starter Alex Sanabia (-0.217) pitched six innings while allowing just two runs, despite allowing two baserunners in each of the first three innings.
Chump of the Game: Haren (-0.307) might not have been culpable for the four fourth-inning runs, but still allowed three earned runs, seven hits, and a walk in just 4.1 IP. Like I’ve said, it’s too early to worry about anything, but it’s disappointing to find out that playing Miami is not a cure-all for pitching issues. Miami’s Chris Coghlan and Rob Brantly tied at -0.041, and went a combined 1-8.