Most Important Nationals Hit: Ian Desmond‘s single (+0.099)
As it always is with WPA, early hits and runs matter the most. This single gave the Nats runners at the corners with no outs in the second. The Nationals would score two runs in this inning, which one would expect to have a great WPA than the hit that set them up, but both were on outs. Combined, the first two run-scoring plays had a WPA of +0.039. Expected run value for a scenario can be nearly as important as scoring the runs themselves.
Most Important Nationals Pitch: Donovan Solano‘s RBI single (+0.082)
If all the right calls had been made in this game, this play would not exist. With two outs and Chris Valaika on second, Solano singled and Valaika powered home. He was beaten by a somewhat offline throw, but Kurt Suzuki still managed to apply the tag to the top of Valaika’s helmet before he touched home. Home plate umpire Greg Gibson was indecisive on the tough call, seeming to rare his arm back to prepare to signal “out” before signaling that Valaika was safe. In the end, however, it made no matter, except to double Ross Detwiler‘s ERA (all the way up to 0.90!)
Champ of the Game: Detwiler (+0.222) continued his trend of domination, pitching seven innings while allowing just one questionable run on seven hits, no walks, and five strikeouts. Honorable mention goes to Bryce Harper, who was 4-5 with a double and an RBI despite still being sick and vomiting in the second inning. As previously mentioned, his ERA is a 0.90, good for sixth in the MLB. Ex-Nat Austin Kearns (+0.056) was 2-4 with a strikeout for Miami, this time only one of four Marlins with a positive WPA.
Chump of the Game: The still-struggling Ryan Zimmerman (-0.053) was 0-4 with two strikeouts, and was removed in the eighth inning due to concern over his hamstring. Fortunately, he committed no errors. Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco (-0.271) took a loss against the Nats agan, allowing four runs over six innings with six strikeouts.