On the last Saturday night of July 2018, the Miami Marlins defeated the Washington Nationals for just the second time out of their last 18 head-to-head games. Trevor Richards was on point.
The Miami Marlins struck for their first run in the fourth inning. Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez walked the bases loaded, issuing free passes to J.T. Realmuto, Starlin Castro, and Cameron Maybin. Yadiel Rivera brought Realmuto home with a sacrifice foul into deep right field. Bryce Harper collected the ball, and fired it home, but Realmuto was too quick by two steps.
The score held for the Miami Marlins through Richards’ start and through three relief pitchers. The fifth man to take the mound for the Marlins, Kyle Barraclough, hit Harper on his back foot to put a runner on with nobody out. Ryan Zimmerman then singled into center field. Barraclough got Juan Soto to ground out before letting Daniel Murphy single in Harper. It was the worst moment of my life, or maybe it’s not that serious.
After an eventless bottom of the ninth and top of the 10th, Magneuris Sierra opened the bottom of the 10th with a bunt single. Miguel Rojas followed with an intended sacrifice bunt, but Nationals catcher Carter Kieboom got in his way, and Rojas was awarded first base. Brian Anderson then singled into right field to jack the bases with nobody out. The Nationals then dragged Harper into the infield so there were five infielders to defend Realmuto’s possible bunt attempt. The all-star catcher blooped it into short right field, where it dropped for a walkoff single, Miami’s seventh of the season. It was the best moment of my life.
- Richards posted a GameScore of 74, matching his career best set on April 14th in a 1-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Today, he struck out eight over six innings, allowing two walks and three hits while keeping the Nats scoreless. Richards got 54-of-91 pitches over the plate.
- Adam Conley faced three batters, walking Mark Reynolds and getting lifted in favor of Brad Ziegler.
- Ziegler came in for one pitch, getting Michael Taylor to groundout to first baseman Realmuto.
- Drew Steckenrider turned in his customary perfect inning in the eighth, getting 14-of-22 pitches over the plate.
- Barraclough continued his recent struggles, coughing up the game tying run in the ninth. It was the third time in Barraclough’s last four games that he allowed the opposing team to score.
- Brett Graves came through clutch in the 10th, retiring the Nationals 1-2-3 and striking out Wilmer Difo.
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- Rojas finished the night two-for-four, and now has a .257 average. That’s up from a season-low .227 on June 14th.
- Realmuto reached base three times, drawing a walk in the fourth, singling in the eighth, and adding the walkoff in the 10th. He’s up to .310 for the season, ranking him seventh in the National League.
- No other Miami Marlins player finished with more than one hit. Rivera pushed his average to .202 with a one-for-two night, and Starlin Castro also went one-for-two, and is now at .287.
- Brian Anderson finished one-for-three with a walk, and is sitting at .283.
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