Sadly, it is becoming too common for the Washington Nationals to lose thanks in part to poor defensive plays. This was true once again Sunday afternoon as the Nationals fell to the Miami Marlins by a final score of 6-2.
The key play in this game came in the bottom of the fourth. With two runners on and two outs, Ichiro Suzuki reached on a high chopper to Danny Espinosa. However, Giancarlo Stanton got hung up in between third base and home plate. Wilson Ramos ran back Stanton to third and seemed to have a sure out to end the inning by tossing it to Yunel Escobar for the tag out. Instead, Ramos held onto the ball and Stanton dove back into third base safely.
As these things often do, it came back to bite them when Adeiny Hechavarria followed with a triple, driving home all three runners and giving the Marlins a 3-1 lead. The Nationals would trail from that point on.
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The Nats first run of the day came from a Bryce Harper solo home run to lead off the top of the second against Dan Haren. It was his fifth homer of the year. It also was the only Nationals hit in the first four innings of the game.
In the fifth, the Nats got one run back when a Denard Span single drove home Wilson Ramos to get the Nats within one at the time. But, two runs from the Marlins in the fifth, including a Stanton triple, gave the Marlins a 5-2 lead. The Marlins added one more in the sixth when Ichiro drove home J.T. Realmuto on a single to right.
Gio Gonzalez struggled once again. He allowed ten hits and six earned runs over five innings. He did manage to strike out eight and only walked one, which normally means a successful outing for Gio, but the Marlins managed to get their knocks especially when they needed them most.
Fortunately for the Nats, the bullpen did not allow any further damage, but the offense never got the team back in the game. Matt Grace, Blake Treinen, and Drew Storen all pitched one inning and didn’t allow any runs. While they each allowed at least one base hit, they all recorded at least one strike out as well.
Offensively, not a single National recorded more than a single hit. Span, Escobar, Harper and Ramos each had one of the four hits that the team had as a whole today
The Nationals have now lost five in a row. No aspect of the game is where they want it to be at the moment. They aren’t pitching, fielding, or hitting well.
They will hope to turns things around on Monday when they face the Braves in Atlanta. Doug Fister (1-0, 2.37) is expected to face off against Eric Stults, who comes in with an 0-1 record and a 4.50 ERA.
After the game, manager Matt Williams told the media that ace pitcher Max Scherzer will not be making his scheduled start on Tuesday against Julio Teheran after jamming his thumb on his pitching hand on Thursday: