Johnson Dominates DC For Marlins 12th Win In 14 Games Against the Nationals.
14 games into their '08 matchup with the Florida Marlins, the Washington Nationals are now 2-12, having dropped tonight's game in Dolphin Stadium, by a final score of 4-2, and all but the first game of the season between the teams on April 18th, and the second of a three game series on July 1st in Florida.
Tonight in Miami, Marlins' starter Josh Johnson (W, 5-1) held the Nationals to just 6 hits and 2 runs in 6.0 innings pitched, allowing only back to back one-out singles to Cristian Guzman and Ryan Zimmerman in the first, a one-out walk to Ryan Zimmerman in the fourth and a two-out fifth inning double to Wil Nieves over 5.0 scoreless before DC finally got to the 6'7'', 24-year-old right-handed pitcher in the sixth. With Florida up 4-0, Johnson allowed back to back two-out singles to Lastings Milledge and Zimmerman, bringing up Elijah Dukes, who drove in Washington's only two runs when he bounced one off the top of the left field wall for a 2-out, 2 RBI double to draw it as close as it would get at 4-2 in the Marlins' favor.
The Florida Relief Corps, tonight consisting of Logan Kensing, Arthur Rhodes, Kevin Gregg and closer Matt Lindstrom, combined for three scoreless, with only Lindstrom allowing anyone on when he walked Lastings Milledge to lead off the ninth.
DC right-hander Tim Redding (L, 10-9) threw 4.0 scoreless...after he'd allowed 2 runs in each of the first two innings, holding DC close enough to strike if the offense could have ever gotten going. Redding ends the night having given up 5 hits, 2 HR's, 4 ER and 3 walks with 5 K's collected. Garrett Mock, who is quickly becoming a dominant force out of the bullpen, throws two scoreless after Redding's night was over, with Mock retiring the Marlins in order in the seventh and eighth for his 10th and 11th-straight scoreless relief innings pitched, over which he's walked 6 while striking out 11.
Washington drops their second straight to Florida and their fourth overall, as the Marlins win 4-straight to keep hope alive, however far-fetched their playoff aspirations might be at this point...DC's last win against Florida came in Collin Balester's MLB debut here in Dolphin Stadium...Balester (3-6, 4.86 ERA) starts his 13th game tomorrow afternoon in Florida, against Marlins' right-hander Anibal Sanchez (2-4, 6.46 ERA).
For The Completists, Full Game Report Follows After The Jump...
Nationals now 56-92. (Countdown To 100 Losses Stands At...8.)
After Willie Harris lines out to center, Cristian Guzman’s ground ball finds its way up the middle for a one-out single and Ryan Zimmerman follows with a smoked line drive to left to put two on for Lastings Milledge. Marlins’ righty Josh Johnson is being cheered on by tambourine-bearing scattered Florida fans. MIlledge fights off a half-dozen 1-2 pitches and ends up striking out swinging over a low sinking fastball. Elijah Dukes up, Cristian Guzman tries to take third on a pitch in the dirt and Marlins’ catcher John Baker nails him with a quick recovery and throw to third to end the Nationals’ first...Hanley Ramirez swings through a 2-2 pitch off the outside edge from Tim Redding. Redding dials it up to 93 mph on a 3-0 pitch to John Baker, and gets a foul ball for a full count before issuing a walk. Jorge Cantu makes Redding pay for the walk with HR #26 on the season on a long fly ball to left for a 2-0 Marlins’ lead. After Mike Jacobs grounds out, Redding gives up a two-out walk to Dan Uggla to bring up the HAMMER! Josh Willingham pops up just behind first, and Emilio Bonifacio bobbles and drops the ball when he trips over the edge of the outfield grass. Jeremy Hermida lets a low two-strike fastball go by and the Ump punches him out for the final out of a long first.
Elijah Dukes goes to a full count with Johnson to start the second and then stares strike three all the way in. Kory Casto, today’s DC first baseman, flies out to left. Emilio Bonifacio gets more of the same, a two-strike fastball inside that he’s just not expecting, strike three to end the DC second...Alfredo “The Amazing” Amezaga starts the Marlins’ second with a line drive single up the middle. Redding turns toward second after fielding Josh Johnson’s bunt, but settles for the out at first. Hanley Ramirez unloads on an 0-1 fastball and destroys it to left for a two-run blast and a 4-0 lead. John Baker flies out to Elijah Dukes. Cantu flies to left. 4-0 Florida after two.
Wil Nieves rips a grounder to third for Hanley Ramirez to handle. Josh Johnson strikes out the opposing pitcher, Tim Redding, and gets the leadoff batter Willie Harris swinging for the final out of the Nationals’ third...Willie Harris tracks down Mike Jacobs' fly ball in left center as he and Milledge converge. Redding drops a nasty two-strike curve up high on Dan Uggla for a swinging K. Josh Willingham smacks a two-out single to center. Cristian Guzman throws out his gloved hand and catches Hermida’s grounder, throwing to first to end the third.
Cristian Guzman grounds the first pitch of the fourth to first where Mike Jacobs fields it and steps on the bag. Ryan Zimmerman draws a walk. Lastings Milledge hits a check-swing grounder to short where Hanley Ramirez charges in to make the play. 2-2 fastball up and away and Dukes goes down swinging through 95 mph heat...Redding gets “The Amazing” Amezaga on a called strike three. Josh Johnson K’s swinging. Hanley Ramirez takes a two-out walk. John Baker singles by Kory Casto at first allowing Ramirez to speed all the way around to third. Jorge Cantu pops out to Casto to end the fourth.
#5 on DC, Kory Casto grounds out to start the fifth. Emilio Bonifacio flies out to Amezaga in center. Wil Nieves knocks the Nationals’ first hit since the first to the right center gap for a two-out double. The Nationals leave Redding in to hit and he lines out to center to end the top of the frame...Lastings Milledge does a hundred-yard dash to come in on a Mike Jacobs pop to short center. Milledge charges in again to catch Uggla’s fly out. Ryan Zimmerman’s on top of a quick hopper to third off Willingham’s bat, and he throws out the Hammer to end the fifth. Still 4-0 Florida.
Willie Harris grounds to Uggla for the first out of the sixth. Cristian Guzman swings over a cruel slider inside. Ryan Zimmerman singles through short for a two-out hit in front of Milledge. Jeremy Hermida dives forward trying for a short fly from Milledge, but Hermida can’t come up with it, Zimmerman takes third. Elijah “Super” Dukes doubles off the top of the wall-board in left, two runs score, 4-2 Marlins. Kory Casto K’s to end the top of the sixth...Hermida flies out to Willie Harris, who makes a two-handed catch. Tim Redding’s still out there. “The Amazing” Amezaga grounds out to Guzman, whose throw just beats the runner. Dallas McPherson flies out to left, Redding holds it close enough that it’s up to the batters....
Logan Kensing is on for the top of the seventh against DC. Emilio Bonifacio grounds out to Uggla. Willie Harris flies out to center. Pinch hitter Anderson Hernandez flies out to left...Stand Up and Stretch...Garrett Mock comes on for DC and throws a quick 1-2-3 7th, embarassing the top of the Marlins’ order. You Just Got MOCKED, Marlins!!...Willie Harris grounds the first pitch from lefty reliever Arthur Rhodes out to second. Guzman flies out to right. Ryan Zimmerman’s gonna see a new pitcher, Kevin Gregg. Zimmerman flies out to Amezaga...Garrett Mock comes back for the eighth. Mike Jacobs pounds a grounder to second for the first out. Dan Uggla K’s swinging over a sinking fastball. Josh Willingham flies out to Dukes in right...4-2 Florida after eight.
Three outs to get two runs for DC in the ninth. Lastings Milledge vs Matt Lindstrom. The Marlins’ closer walks the leadoff batter in front of Elijah Dukes. Dukes grounds to Hanley Ramirez at short, to Uggla at second, to Cantu, double play. Kory Casto flies out to Willingham in left, and the Marlins take the second straight from DC. 4-2 final.
Nationals now 56-92. (Countdown To 100 Losses Stands At...8.)