A Late Lead, A Blown Save, And Another Washington Nationals' Loss to the Florida Marlins...who sweep the first six games of the season against DC...Marlins win again, 7-4 final.
At this point, it's my own fault for believing things will be different. For the third straight game this weekend the Washington Nationals blow a late lead. This time it's 3-2 in the eighth when Mike Hinckley gives up a two-out solo shot to Cody Ross that ties it at 3-3...and after Washington retakes the lead in the bottom of the inning, (when the Marlins commit an error on what should be an inning-ending double play, allowing a runner in from third), the Nationals blow the lead again in the ninth when the fill-in closer Saul Rivera, (in for Joel Hanrahan who blew saves in the the first two games of this series), gives up a leadoff walk and a double to make it 4-4, followed by two walks to load the bases, and a two-out double that wins it for Florida, after their closer, Matt Lindstrom, retires the Nationals in order in the home half of the ninth.
The Pitching Is The Problem, But Not The Starters...
Daniel Cabrera put forth his best effort, walking four in 5.0 innings, but allowing only 3 hits and 2 runs, and he left the game with a lead 2-1 lead, which was quickly 3-1 when Jesus Flores scored Adam Dunn from third with a single in the Nationals' fifth. That lead held up until the top of the eighth, and even after Florida tied it there, Washington rallied back, but the DC Bullpen gave it away again. Steven Shell allowed 1 hit in a scoreless sixth, and Mike Hinckley got five outs before surrendering the solo HR to Cody Ross in the eighth...but still...
When Marlins' second baseman sailed a throw on a DP attempt which would have ended the eighth, but instead ended up allowing Adam Dunn to score the go-ahead run, it looked like luck had finally found the Washington Nationals, who turned to Saul "Sa-ool" Rivera to record the final three outs of the game. Two walks, two doubles and four runs later, the Washington Nationals were 1-10.
Saul Rivera's Line - (L, 0-3), .12.27 ERA, 1.0 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K's, 44 pitches, 22 for strikes.
- 1st Inning - Bases Loaded, 1 out: Jesus Flores K's, Alberto Gonzalez grounds out. 2-0 Nationals.
- 3rd Inning - Bases Loaded, 1 out: Jesus Flores K's, Alberto Gonzalez grounds out. 2-1 Nationals.
- 5th Inning - Bases Loaded, 2 outs: Anderson Hernandez grounds out to third. 3-1 Nationals. Marlins score in 6th, 3-2 Nationals.
- 6th Inning - 1st and 2nd, 1 out: Elijah Dukes K's with both runners going, Adam Dunn thrown out at second, Double Play to end the Inning. 3-2 Nationals.
Florida Marlins at Washington Nationals. Game 11 of 162.
Two fastballs down the pipe from Daniel Cabrera to start the day, and the second one is sent out to center where Elijah Dukes catches the first out off Emilio Bonifacio’s bat. John Baker lines the first pitch he sees to Nick Johnson. Cabrera gets a grounder to short from Hanley Ramirez and an error by Alberto Gonzalez extends the inning. Ross Gload sends Elijah Dukes back to warning track where he catches the third out...Alfredo Amezaga dives forward to snag a sinking line drive from Anderson Hernandez. Nick Johnson lays his bat on a fastball outside and sends it through the infield for a single. Ryan Zimmerman goes the other way with a slicing liner to left that bounces off Cody Ross allowing Johnson to take third. Ball in the dirt with Adam Dunn at bat and Zimmerman takes second. The Big Walky, Adam Dunn loads the bases for Elijah Dukes. Dukes rips an RBI line drive to center, Johnson scores, 1-0 Nationals. Low liner through short by Austin Kearns brings Zimmerman home. 2-0 DC. Jesus Flores tips strike three into the Marlins’ catcher’s glove. Alberto Gonzalez grounds back to the mound, 2-0 DC after one.
Dan Uggla grounds a bender to third that Ryan Zimmerman handles. Daniel Cabrera misses with a low 90 mph full-count fastball to Jeremy Hermida for a one-out walk. Cody Ross grounds to Zimmerman to Anderson Hernandez to Johnson, double play to end the top of the second...Daniel Cabrera K’s swinging. Anderson Hernandez gets fooled by a change and grounds weakly to second. Nick Johnson chops a grounder to first that stays fair...2-0 DC after two.
Alfredo Amezaga lines out to second, where Anderson Hernandez grabs it. Chris Volstad goes back up the middle with a one-out single. Emilio Bonifacio skies a fly ball out to left. John Baker lines a double to left...Adam Dunn comes on, dives...and comes up empty, Volstad rounds third and scores when the throw home sails over the plate. 2-1 Nationals. Hanley Ramirez tests Alberto Gonzalez’s backhand, and Gonzalez fires to first in time to end the top of the third...Ryan Zimmerman gets called out on a low fastball inside. Adam Dunn pushes a single over short into center on a change outside. Elijah Dukes works a one-out walk. Austin Kearns walks to load the bases. Jesus Flores chases strike three out of the zone. Alberto Gonzalez grounds out to third to end the threat.
Daniel Cabrera issues a leadoff walk to Ross Gload. Adam Dunn sprints to his right and robs Dan Uggla of a double with a shoestring grab in left. Elijah Dukes slides in and snags a line drive from Jeremy Hermida before it hits the center field grass. Two-out walk to Cody Ross. Alfredo Amezaga up, a wild pitch from Cabrera moves the runners up to second and third, but Amezaga grounds out to end the Marlins’ fourth...Daniel Cabrera makes contact on a groundout to second. Anderson Hernandez has his bat shattered by a fastball. Nick Johnson uses his famous “Discerning Eye” to draw a one-out walk. Johnson swipes second on a curve in the dirt. Ryan Zimmerman’s robbed by a diving Emilio Bonifacio, who fires to first in time to end the fourth.
Anderson Hernandez back up to the outfield grass to catch Volstad’s pop out. Emilio Bonifacio grounds out to second. John Baker skies one to center, Dukes trots over and makes the grab, Cabrera through five with the lead...Adam Dunn walks to start the Nationals’ fifth. Elijah Dukes goes down swinging. Austin Kearns splits the gap in right center, and Adam Dunn speeds around to third. Chris Volstad out in favor of Hayden Penn. Jesus Flores with his third RBI opportunity. Jesus Flores strokes a line drive to left, Dunn comes in, 3-1 DC. Jeremy Hermida sprints over and slides into foul territory to catch the second out of Alberto Gonzalez's bat. Daniel Cabrera takes a two-out walk. Daniel Cabrera takes a two-out walk. Anderson Hernandez grounds to short with the bases loaded to end the fifth.
Hanley Ramirez bounces a fastball off the left field wall for a leadoff double in spite of Adam Dunn’s quick throw in. Cabrera walks Ross Gload, and DC Manager Manny Acta tries to stop it there. Steven Shell is on in relief. Adam Dunn settles under an unproductive fly ball from Dan Uggla. Jeremy Hermida takes a one-out walk to load the bases. Cody Ross works the count full and gives up a line-drive single to left, one run scores, 3-2 Nationals. Alfredo Amezaga pops out to the infield. Shell throws a slider and then a fastball up high by Jorge Cantu and then bends a slider into the zone for a backwards K and an end to the Marlins’ sixth!!...Nick Johnson almost gets all of one, but just flies out to right. Renyel Pinto issues a one-out walk to Ryan Zimmerman. Adam Dunn lifts a "Nick Johnson-single" over second, Zimmerman stops at second. Elijah Dukes K’s swinging, Zimmerman and Dunn are running, and Dunn gets tagged out at second...What?
Mike Hinckley takes over on the mound with Justin Maxwell in for Dukes in center. Emilio Bonifacio flies out to Kearns in short right. John Baker grounds out to first, where Nick Johnson makes the play. Hinckley walks Hanley Ramirez with two down. Ross Gload grounds to second, and Hinckley’s got a scoreless frame...Kiko Calero takes over on the mound for Florida. Austin Kearns flies out to Cody Ross in right. Jesus Flores flies out to Hermida in left. Alberto Gonzalez flies out to end the seventh...
Mike Hinckley comes back out for the eighth and walks the first batter, Dan Uggla. Jeremy Hermida grounds to Nick Johnson at first, to Alberto Gonzalez and back for the double play!!! Hinckley hangs one to Cody Ross and it’s...GONE! Tie game. 3-3. Alfredo Amezaga lines one off Mike Hinckley’s hand and reaches first when it bounces off Hinckley’s hand. Wes Helms lines to right, Kearns can’t come up with it, Amezaga rounds third, Kearns throws home...and Flores catches it misses the tag, chases down Amezaga get the third out of the inning...Leo Nunez gets a fly ball to center out of Justin Maxwell with one pitch. Anderson Hernandez works a one-out walk in front of Nick “Two-Spot” Johnson. Johnson singles through second with Hernandez running. First and third for Zimmerman. Zimmerman grounds into a double pla...the throw from second bounces and Zimmerman’s safe!! Hernandez scores, 4-3 DC. Adam Dunn gets the intentionals. Alex Cintron flies out to center.
Saul “Sa-ool” Rivera gets a chance to close out the win. Emilio Bonifacio takes a leadoff walk. John Baker lines to the wall in left center and scores Bonifacio from first. 4-4 ballgame. Rivera gets Hanley Ramirez swinging. Dan Uggla gets called out looking. Saul Rivera walks Hermida to load the bases for Cody Ross. Ross lines a hanging slider to right center for a bases clearing double and a 7-4 lead. Alfredo Amezaga flies out to end the top of the ninth...Matt Lindstrom’s on to close out the sweep. Austin Kearns K’s looking at a fastball inside. Jesus Flores grounds out to third. Alberto Gonzalez grounds out to first. Marlins sweep. 7-4 final.
Nationals now 1-10.