Jon Lester just didn’t have it tonight. The 37-year-old southpaw gave up five hits total, three walks, and seven earned runs in just 2 1⁄3 innings on the mound tonight in loanDepot park.
Lester left the mound with Washington’s Nationals in a 6-2 hole, and one of the two runners he left on scored for the seventh run he was charged with in what ended up being an 11-2 drubbing at the hands of the Miami Marlins.
Kyle Schwarber did hit his 13th home run in the last 14 games at least. But not much else in the way of highlights for the Nationals tonight...
Lester vs the Fish: Jon Lester allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his last five starts going into tonight’s outing, with a 2.55 ERA, seven walks, 17 strikeouts, and a .267/.315/.436 line against in 24 2⁄3 IP over that stretch, and the veteran left-hander earned his first curly-W the last time out before tonight, in a 6-2 win over the NY Mets in which he gave up a total of seven hits and two earned runs in six innings pitched.
“When Lester can throw strikes and command the strike zone, I’ve seen it many times, he can go through hitters,” manager Davey Martinez said after that turn in the rotation for the 37-year-old southpaw. “He had good stuff, his stuff was electric tonight.”
In the follow-up to that outing, Lester took the mound tonight in Miami, facing the Marlins for the second time this season after tossing five scoreless against the Fish in his ‘21 debut, and fell behind early, issuing back-to-back one-out walks to Starlin Marte and Garrett Cooper, before an RBI single to left by Adam Duvall drove in the first run of the game, 1-0.
Miguel Castro stepped in next and hit a 3-1 sinker out to left for a three-run home run and a 4-0 Marlins’ lead.
It was 4-2 when Lester came back out for the bottom of the third and gave up a double to center by Garrett Cooper, a walk to Adam Duvall, and an RBI single by Miguel Rojas, 5-2.
Jesús Sánchez doubled to drive in a run with the fourth straight hit to start the third, and after a Jorge Alfaro groundout moved runners to second and third with one down, Lester was done for the night.
Jon Lester’s Line: 2.1 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 64 P, 35 S, 5/2 GO/FO.
López vs the Nats: Pablo López faced the Nationals in the nation’s capital back on April 30th, tossing seven scoreless in which he worked around six hits and two walks in a 79-pitch effort in a 2-1 loss in which the 25-year-old righty received no decision.
Going into tonight’s game, the Marlins’ starter was coming off another seven scoreless, against the Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Field, in a start which saw him give up one hit in a 93-pitch effort in an 11-1 which left him with a 2.86 ERA, 21 walks, 85 Ks, and a .224/.280/.372 line against in 15 starts and 85 IP on the season.
López tossed two scoreless on 35 pitches to start, as the Marlins jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but Kyle Schwarber, who singled the first time up, homered in his second at bat, hitting his 22nd of the season and 13th in the last 14 games 420 feet to right field for a leadoff bomb that landed up in the upper deck to get the Nationals on the board, 4-1.
Trea Turner singled in the next at bat, stole second, and scored on a Ryan Zimmerman hit up the middle with one out in the third, 4-2.
López came out for the fourth with an 8-2 lead and retired the side in order, striking out two, then set the Nationals down in order in the fifth, before striking out the side in the sixth, for 9 Ks total on 101 pitches.
Pablo López’s Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 Ks, 1 HR, 101 P, 65 S, 4/2 GO/FO.
Schwarbombs Update: Kyle Schwarber hit 12 home runs in 13 games between June 12th and 24th, going 17 for 49 (.347 AVG) over that stretch, with 23 RBIs, five walks, and 14 runs in a ridiculous run by the 28-year-old slugger, and he made it 13 home runs in 14 games with a solo shot to right field in loanDepot park on Friday night, taking Marlins’ starter Pablo López deep in the first at bat of the third for his 22nd home run overall this season. Not bad, Kyle.
Here's your daily Kyle Schwarber June HR tally update:— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 26, 2021
June 12 - SCHWAR
June 13 - 2 SCHWAR s
June 14 - SCHWAR
June 19 - 2 SCHWAR s
June 20 - 3 SCHWAR s
June 23 - SCHWAR
June 24 - 2 SCHWAR s
June 25 - SCHWAR @kschwarb12 // #NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/wZ5YBsUwb0
Bullpen Action: Justin Miller took over with runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the third inning, with the Marlins up, 6-2, and gave up an RBI single to center field by Jon Berti, 7-2 after three.
Paolo Espino came on and gave up a one-out double and a walk in the bottom of the fourth, and an error by Trea Turner on a potential double play grounder to short loaded them up in front of Jesús Sánchez, who grounded into a force at second, but avoided a double play, 8-2.
Jon Berti singled, stole second, and scored on an RBI single by Jazz Chisolm, Jr. in the fifth, adding to the Marlins’ lead, 9-2.
Sam Clay tossed a scoreless, 11-pitch bottom of the sixth. Still 9-2 Fish.
Anthony Bender worked around a leadoff single for a scoreless top of the seventh.
Jefry Rodríguez came on for the Nationals in the bottom of the seventh and retired the side in order.
Richard Bleier gave up Kyle Schwarber’s third hit of the night, a leadoff single in the top of the eighth, but retired the next three batters in order.
Rodríguez returned to the mound in the eighth, and gave up a leadoff walk to Starling Marte and a two-run home run by Garrett Cooper, 11-2.
Anthony Bass came out to finish this one up and finished up the win.
Final Score: 11-2 Marlins
Nationals now 36-37