December 14, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 104 Review: Offense leaves Strasburg out to dry against Marlins

When the offense dries up, it dries up hard.

With Ryan Zimmerman out of the lineup for the foreseeable future, and Jayson Werth out resting a sprained ankle acquired when unsuccessfully trying for an extra base Monday, the Washington Nationals were missing two of their most productive hitters entering Tuesday’s rematch with the Miami Marlins.

The results weren’t pretty. The Nats wasted six walks by four Marlins pitchers, went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base, spoiling another strong outing by Stephen Strasburg, to fall 2-0 to Miami at Marlins Park.

Strasburg threw seven strong innings, allowing just one earned run on four hits and two walks, striking out four. Unfortunately, the hitters weren’t able to get to All-Star Henderson Alvarez and a couple of Miami relievers.

The Nationals best chance to score came early. The Nats loaded the bases in the second as Wilson Ramos walked, Bryce Harper singled and Ian Desmond walked against Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez. But Danny Espinosa struck out, Nate McLouth lined out and Strasburg grounded out to end the threat.

The Marlins finally dented the scoreboard in the sixth inning. Jordany Valdespin reached on a single to center and came around on Giancarlo Stanton’s double to the left field corner on a hanging curveball from Strasburg. Stanton inexplicably tried for third on the play despite Valdespin scoring easily, and Wilson Ramos nabbed the burly right fielder by plenty at third.

Miami added to its lead in the eighth inning against Jerry Blevins and Aaron Barrett.

Blevins gave up a single to pinch-hitter Reed Johnson, then a double off the wall to lefty swinging Christian Yelich which scored Johnson. Manager Matt Williams asked Barrett to face Stanton, unsuccessfully. Stanton laced a hanging two-strike slider into left field that plated Yelich to make it 3-0.

The Nationals loaded the bases again in the ninth inning against Marlins closer Steve Cishek, but Anthony Rendon struck out on an outside pitch to end the game.

The finale of the three game series is Wednesday at 12:40 pm ET.  Tanner Roark (10-6, 2.82) faces Brad Hand (2-2. 4.19).

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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