Prediction: The Nationals win 5-2. Big Z goes only 3 innings for the Marlins, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits. Detwiler, meanwhile goes 7 strong shutout innings for the Nationals.
I was at least half right. The Washington Nationals did win the game behind a very strong start from Ross Detwiler, 2 to 0.
I was incorrect on Carlos Zambrano. Big Z did not struggle like I suspected he would Zambrano went 7 very solid innings for the Marlins. He struck out 6 hitters and did not walk a batter. The only blemish on Zambrano’s line was Rick Ankiel.
The Marlins best scoring chance happened in the second inning. Giancarlo Stanton led the inning off with a single. After a Gaby Sanchez line out, Austin Kearns lined a double down the third base line to set the Marlins up second and third with only one out. John Buck lifted a fly ball, but unfortunately for the Marlins, it was hit to Rick Ankiel, who has one of the strongest outfield arms in baseball. Donnie Murphy then struck out to end the inning.
Rick Ankiel led off the bottom of the third with a solo shot to center. It was the Nationals first hit of the game. Ankiel also had a hit in the fifth inning. His single off of Zambrano in the fifth was the second, and the last hit the Nats would get off of Big Z this evening.
This game was a pitchers dual that we would have expected for either game 2 or 3 of this series. Both pitchers brought their A games.
Detwiler pitched a gem of a game going six, with three hits, no earned runs, and seven strikeouts. With only 79 pitches, Detwiler was lifted after 6 innings. Have to wonder if he was on some kind of a pitch count?
Zambrano finished the game going seven innings, with two hits, one earned run, and six strikeouts. I assume he would have pitched the eight inning, but the Marlins needed to get some kind of offense going, so the Marlins sent Chris Coghlan instead.
After Logan Morrison beat out an infield single, Chris Coghlan sent a deep shot to the warning track. Rick Ankiel was able to get underneath it at the wall and retire Coghlan. Jose Reyes grounded out, but Morrison was able to advance to second.
Next batter had the at bat of the game. Emilio Bonifacio fouled off 7 straight pitches and faced 15 total pitches before he drew a walk. The Marlins now had their hottest batter, and the guys they need at the plate. Tonight however, was not going to be a heroic one for Hanley Ramirez. He swung at a high fastball to end the threat. The Marlins were trailing 1-0 going into the bottom of the eight.
Steve Cishek handled the eight inning for the Marlins. Cishek struck out Xavier Nady, then Ankiel came up again, and got his third hit of the game. On the hit, Ankiel rounded second and dared Stanton to throw him out. Stanton threw a perfect ball to second, but Jose Reyes missed the tag and Ankiel had himself a double. The next batter, Jesus Flores hit a grounder back to Cishek and Cishek had Ankiel hung between second and third. Cishek, however, decided to go to first base and retired Flores.
This was the first run Cishek had allowed in his 9 appearances (8.1 innings) this season.
In the ninth, Henry Rodriguez came into attempt to close the game for the Nationals. Rodriguez got Stanton to fly out to shallow center. Rodriguez walked Sanchez and allowed him to advance to second on a wild pitch. Greg Dobbs flew out and John Buck drew a walk. With the game tying run on second, Chris Coghlan grounded into a fielders choice to end the game.
The Nationals win and move to 11-4 and the Marlins fell to 7-7. Both teams will be right back at it on Saturday afternoon. Remember, this game will start at 1:05 PM EST. The game will feature two of the better pitchers in baseball, Anibal Sanchez and Stephen Strasburg.
Prediction: Anibal Sanchez throws a gem, going eight shutout innings and allowing only one hit. Strasburg allows three runs over seven innings for the Nationals. Marlins win the game 3-0.
Tags: Austin Kearns Carlos Zambrano Chad Tracy Chris Coghlan Donnie Murphy Emilio Bonifacio Featured Gaby Sanchez Giancarlo Stanton Greg Dobbs Hanley Ramirez Henry Rodriguez Ian Desmond Jesus Flores John Buck Jose Reyes Logan Morrison Miami Marlins Rick Ankiel Ross Detwiler Steve Cishek Washington Nationals Xavier Nady