Washington Nationals Recap: Missed opportunities doom Nats in loss to Marlins
By David Balick
The Washington Nationals bats were kept quiet on Tuesday night by the Miami Marlins pitchers. They were held to just three hits, one of which came from pinch hitter Doug Fister.
The key to this game was Stephen Strasburg’s potential injury. Strasburg labored through three innings pitched, allowing two runs on fours hits, two walks and two strike outs.
In the first, it looked as if his shoulder may have been bothering him after a pitch. When he retired the side, he went into the clubhouse, but resurfaced to pitch the second.
In the second inning he allowed the two runs, one of which came on his own throwing error when he one-hopped a throw that Dan Uggla couldn’t handle, allowing Suzuki to come around and score.
The training staff came out to check on him after the play, but once again he stayed in the game and finished the second.
In the third, he allowed two runners to reach, but was able to retire the side, but at that point Matt Williams decided to pinch-hit for Strasburg when his spot came up in the order. More news to come regarding this.
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The Nats’ lone run on the day came in the bottom of the second. Ryan Zimmerman led of the inning with an 11-pitch walk and Wilson Ramos followed it up with a bloop double to right. After an Ian Desmond strikeout, Dan Uggla delivered his 11th RBI of the season with a high chopper to third that scored Zimmerman.
But unfortunately the Nats squandered every opportunity from that point on.
In the top of ninth, the Nats’ first two batters reached. Dan Uggla then stepped to the plate and attempted to bunt the runners over, but his bunt went right back to the Marlins closer Steve Cishek, and he got the easy out at third. Cishek would then strikeout Michael Taylor and Tyler Moore to end the threat and win the game.
Matt Latos was solid on the mound for the Marlins on the night and deservedly got the win. Latos went 6.2 innings, allowing just one run on two hits. He did give the Nationals a few oppurtunites, walking five on the night, but the Nationals once again struggled with runners on base.
The lone bright spot for the Nats was their bullpen. Rookie Sammy Solis came in for Strasburg and allowed just one hit over three innings. Blake Treinen, Matt Thornton and Aaron Barrett also provided scoreless innings for the Nats in relief, but the hitters just couldn’t help them out.
The Nationals will look to win the rubber game of the series on Wednesday. Max Scherzer will go up against Tom Koehler in a game that starts at 1:05 PM ET.