Aaron Barrett worked around a two-out triple by Dee Gordon and a hit-by-pitch on Martin Prado by striking Giancarlo Stanton out to end the Marlins' ninth and keep it close at 2-1 Miami after eight and a half last night in Nationals Park.
Washington's ninth started with Wilson Ramos singling to right on soft fly ball off Fish closer Steve Cisek, and the Nats put two runners on with no one out when the Marlins botched a potential double play off Ian Desmond's bat with Adeiny Hechavarria dropping a throw to second from Dee Gordon.
With two on and no one out in a one-run game, Dan Uggla squared around, first trying to bunt for a hit on a roller up the third base line that went foul. Uggla got a bunt down, but sent it back to the mound, allowing Cisek to cut the lead runner down at third.
Michael Taylor stepped in next and went down swinging at a two-strike slider outside.
With one out left, Nationals' manager Matt Williams went to pinch hitter Tyler Moore. Was Jayson Werth unavailable?
Werth put on a helmet at one point in the game and was even in the on-deck circle at one point, though he obviously never walked to the plate.
Williams didn't use him, however, going with Moore who flailed out a 1-2 slider outside from Cisek to end the game.
After the 2-1 loss, the second-year skipper was asked about the decision to go with Moore over Werth, who was getting some much-needed rest after playing in ten straight games and 19 of 21 since coming off the DL.
"[Werth] was available," Williams said, "'emergency' available. T-Mo was 1 for 1 off of [Cisek] so, we wanted to make sure that we're mindful of Jayson, and he was 'emergency' available."
"We can't say that he's going to get a day off regardless of situation," Williams explained further, "but today we were making sure that we wouldn't want to use him unless we absolutely had to."
Apparently, the one-run deficit didn't qualify as an "emergency" so Werth rested for the entire day.
The Nationals had their chances against Marlins' starter Mat Latos, who walked five batters in six-plus innings, and the Miami bullpen, but Washington went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position and eight runners left on base in what ended up a one-run loss.
"Had some chances," Williams said. "Last inning, [Steve] Cisek jumped off the mound and made a nice play on the bunt. Given the miscue there we wanted to try to get guys on second and third and we're light on the bullpen as it is, and try to take advantage of that but [Cisek] made a nice play."
The Nats' loss set up a rubber match in the nation's capital, but Werth wasn't in the lineup for this afternoon's series finale when it was released. Is there an issue with the soon-to-turn 36-year-old veteran? Or is Williams trying to get Werth three straight days off to rest up with no game tomorrow?
Since returning from the DL and starting the 2015 campaign late as he recovered from offseason shoulder surgery, Werth has put up a .176/.247/.203 with two doubles, seven walks and 19 Ks in 85 PAs. Is he available today?
According to a reports from Nationals Park, Werth is resting a sore right shoulder that Williams described this morning as "cranky" but he is available to pinch hit:
Werth is sitting due to soreness in his surgically repaired right shoulder. He's available to PH. #Nats— Chase Hughes (@chasehughesCSN) May 6, 2015
Jayson Werth's shoulder is "cranky" &"sore," per Matt Williams. Two games off & tomorrow's off day should be good rest for him.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) May 6, 2015
Williams didn't consider this abnormal for Werth, who's 35 and coming back from shoulder surgery. Says he's still building strength.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) May 6, 2015
Werth indeed dealing with "cranky" shoulder. Williams says he's available today, expects to be in lineup Friday.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) May 6, 2015
Werth is still on a program to rebuild strength in his shoulder after surgery. Soreness is considered normal.— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) May 6, 2015
Williams says Jayson Werth's shoulder is sore. It will get cranky from time to time. Taking advantage off day tomorrow. Due back Fri. #Nats— Chris Johnson (@masnCJ) May 6, 2015
[ed. note - "SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $100,000 one-day fantasy baseball league today. It's $3 to join and first place wins $8,000. Enter now! CLICK HERE!"]