Apparently the Nats make for a good comedy act. During Saturday’s 4-1 Nationals loss to the Marlins, Collin Balester was caught tripping over his own feet on the mound. Laughter ensued after the rousing bit of physical humor, but besides that there wasn’t much else for Washington to smile about.
Balester crushed his tailbone and behind on an attempt to pick-off Marlins left fielder Logan Morrison in the eighth. Balester ended up striking out Marlins short stop Hanley Ramiriez who was at-bat during the pick-off attempt, and the Nationals lost what could have been another chance for Jason Marquis to win a game.
For a guy who’s known for pitching for contact, he put up some numbers to make a power pitching case. Marquis struck out eight over six inning and held on to a no-hit bid until Marlins first baseman Chad Tracy started the fifth with a lead off single.
The fifth inning is where the Marlins figured Marquis out. Marquis loaded the bases with the first three batters he faced, but after a two-run fifth inning rally, Marquis didn’t give up any more runs while in the game.
Right-handed pitcher Anibal Sanchez was the dominant force at Nationals Park Saturday. The Marlins starter pitched 7.2 innings and put the Nationals lineup to sleep.
Sanchez pitched a game that the Nationals would love to one day see from Jason Marquis (or at least before his contract runs out at the end of 2011) – pitching for contact. Sanchez only struck out four Nats compared to Marquis’ eight, but held the Nationals to four hits while taking a no-hit bid into the fifth.
Michael Morse doubled in the fifth and Ryan Zimmerman singled in the seventh, but if it weren’t for Wilson Ramos the Nationals never would have scored. Ramos hit a double that sent Nyjer Morgan around to score to prevent a shutout.
“A lot of good stuff happened,” Jim Riggleman said. “But the story of the day really was Sanchez.”
Today: Chris Volstad (9-9, 4.96) faces Jordan Zimmermann (0-0, 3.86).