The Nationals were looking to avoid the sweep on Thursday afternoon at the hands of the Marlins but were unable to do so as their late inning rally fell short and the Marlins secured the win and the series sweep by a score of 5 to 3.
Trevor Williams took the mound for the Nationals and was about what you would expect (which is a good thing). Williams gave up some hard contact, including a homerun to Bryan De La Cruz, but mostly played to his strength of inducing weak contact on the ground and being able to go deeper into a ballgame. Williams lasted 6 innings giving up 3 runs on 5 hits with a walk and 5 strikeouts. 6 innings and 3 runs is the measure of a quality start and more often than not Williams has provided a quality start or at least close to it.
Mason Thompson entered the game to pitch the 7th needing to get his season back on track. After a leadoff single, Thompson got the next two hitters to groundout easily. It looked like he may get his first clean inning this month until Garrett Cooper singled home an important insurance run before Thompson could get the final out of the inning. Erasmo Ramirez pitched the 8th inning and had an unearned run score after two hits, which allowed another important insurance run score for the Marlins.
While he made that throwing error in the 8th, Jeimer Candelario had himself another nice day offensively. Back hitting in the top third of the lineup, Candelario went 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs, including his 5th homerun of the season.
Candelario hasn't gotten many hits or walks this season, but when he does it, they tend to go for extra bases. Him breaking out of his slump is very important for this Nationals team who now finds itself back in last place in the National League after dropping the last three games.
Along those lines, the Nationals have a great opportunity this weekend to make up some lost ground with a series back home in DC against the visiting Detroit Tigers. Friday's game will feature Jake Irvin (1-1, 4.11 ERA) getting another start with the Nats against the Tigers' lefty Matthew Boyd (2-3, 6.47 ERA). It will be an important start for Jake Irvin, who is looking to remain in the rotation with Chad Kuhl nearing a return from the injured list. Irvin has far outperformed Kuhl this season, but with Irvin having options remaining, he may be the odd man out when Kuhl is ready to return.