Washington Nationals Game Recap #43 - Soler Sinks Nats Again
By Nick Meyers
The Nationals found themselves on the wrong side of a one run game against the Marlins for the second day in a row, both games due to the bat of Jorge Soler. At least this time, Soler homered earlier in the game and not via the walk-off, which I suppose is marginally easier to handle.
MacKenzie Gore got the start for the Nationals and was good, but the production the Marlins had was damaging. Gore allowed 5 hits, but 3 of them went for extra bases including a triple to Jean Segura and the homerun to Jorge Soler. Two of the four runners to score reached base via a walk as well, which were Gore's only two walks on the day. Gore's final line was 5.1 innings allowing 4 runs on 5 hits with 2 walks and 7 strikeouts.
It wasn't Gore's best start by any means, but it is more than serviceable and he was still able to display his swing-and-miss ability by garnering 7 strikeouts. Allowing 4 runs isn't a quality start, but if it is a "down" start for Gore, then that will play.
The Nationals offense has been slightly unpredictable lately, with the usual suspects going cold and the unlikely contributors being the driving force. This continued to be the case on Wednesday as Jeimer Candelario, who had been ice cold at the plate lately, tallied three hits and Ildemaro Vargas, getting the start for Stone Garrett, had two as well. But the unlikeliest contributor came in the form of Corey Dickerson, as he made his return to the lineup after a month and a half long stint on the injured list with a strained calf. In Dickerson's first at bat, he blasted a two run homerun to the second deck as a welcome return to the team.
Otherwise, the Nationals did not do much on offense. Joey Meneses was absent as he was placed on the Paternity List, with Jake Alu being recalled from AAA Rochester to fill the void. However, if the trend continues, the Nationals are due for an offensive explosion on Thursday since it seems they are good for one at least once a series. They'll need it if they want to try and avoid the sweep.