The Nationals fought back from an early 4-0 deficit, but missed opportunities and a failure to capitalize on run scoring opportunities cost the team as they lost to the visiting Miami Marlins 8-5 in 10 innings.
To say Jordan Zimmerman hasn’t been especially sharp this season would be something of an understatement. Zimmerman came into the game with a WHIP of 1.43 while opponents have hit .297 off of him. Wednesday he did not fare much better. On the night, Zimmerman allowed eight hits in five innings while surrendering four runs, three earned, and striking out three. It was the third time in the last four games where Zimmerman allowed eight or more hits in six or fewer innings.
Good defense and a timely double-play got Zimmerman out of early trouble, but the Marlins jumped all over the struggling righty in the fourth, plating four runs, three earned, on five hits. If not for a Giancarlo Stanton running mistake, where he was thrown out at third with nobody out, the inning could have turned into an absolute disaster for the Nats. As it was, Zimmerman had trouble locating his pitches and the Marlins hit the ball hard to all fields. In the inning, runs were driven in by Garrett Jones, Adeiny Hechavarria, and Marcell Ozuna.
Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez pitched five solid innings, but he was curiously pulled before the sixth after throwing only 62 pitches. Reports are Alvarez was pulled due to right elbow stiffness. The Nats quickly capitalized on the pitching change, cutting the Marlins’ lead to 4-3 off of reliever Chris Hatcher. The Nats scored two on a RBI double by Nate McLouth, and Ian Desmond scored later when Jones committed a throwing error on a Denard Span grounder. In the seventh, Wilson Ramos hit his first home run of the year, knotting the score 4-4.
The game ultimately came down to which team capitalized on their opportunities. The Nats failed to score with bases loaded and no outs in the eighth and two runners on and two outs in the ninth. The Nats stranded 15 base runners in the game. In the tenth, the Marlins loaded the bases multiple times and scored four runs off of relievers Jerry Blevins (2-2) and Aaron Barrett. The Nats added a run in the tenth on an Adam LaRoche sacrifice fly.
On the night, McLouth went 4-for-4 with a double, three singles, a walk, and a steal. It was the first time McLouth recorded four hits in a game since April 28, 2013 against Oakland. Ramos recorded three hits on the night, his first three hit game since he went 4-for-4 on September 15, 2013 against Philadelphia. It was his third multi-hit game in his last eight games. LaRoche and Span each recorded two hits as well. LaRoche has recorded at least one hit in each game since his return. The Nats totaled 15 hits while the Marlins recorded 14.
The Nats are now 1-5 in extra innings and have lost seven of their last nine. They are now 5-3 against the Marlins on the season.