The Nationals suffered a tough 8-5 tenth inning loss in Washington on Wednesday against the Miami Marlins despite several opportunities to end the night with a win. Right-handed pitcher Jordan Zimermann started the night well enough by cruising through the first three innings. He gave up two hits in the first inning and faced 10 batters before the game broke open for Miami in the fourth.
Zimmermann lasted a total of five innings pitched and gave up four runs (three earned) and eight hits while walking one and striking out three on 80 pitches thrown (53 strikes). The fourth inning is when Miami did their greatest damage of the night to take the big 4-0 lead that would keep them ahead of Washington all evening.
Miami’s right-handed starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez held the Nats in place before being pulled after five innings pitched for precautionary reasons due to right elbow stiffness. Alvarez gave up five hits but no runs on 52 pitches thrown (43 strikes) while striking out two and hitting a batter.
Once Alvarez was pulled, the ballgame changed. Washington’s sixth inning three-run rally sparked a bit of optimism. A string of hits in that inning off of right-handed reliever Chris Hatcher included a string of hits from catcher Wilson Ramos, shortstop Ian Desmond, and a two-RBI double hit by outfielder Nate McLouth.
Down by one run in a 4-3 game in the seventh innings brought Ramos back to the plate. He proceeded to crush a 2-0 pitch from right-handed reliver A.J. Ramos to the visitor’s bullpen in left-center field for his first homerun of the year. That solo shot tied the game up 4-4.
That tie was held in tact and the Nats’ bullpen including lefty Ross Detwiler and righties Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, and Rafael Soriano all kept Miami scoreless. But despite loading the bases in both the eighth and ninth innings, Washington could not score and took the game into extra-innings.
“It’s frustrating. Everybody’s frustrated by it but there’s nothing we can do about it now except prepare for Friday,” Manager Matt Williams said after the game. “We certainly want to get a chance like we had with [the] bases loaded, nobody out, we want to score that run, didn’t happen tonight. So we’ll keep pushing, keep playing hard.”
Left-handed pitcher Jerry Blevins took the mound to start the tenth and would eventually take the loss, his second of the season, after Miami proceeded to pounce all over his pitches.
Blevins gave up a leadoff single to first baseman Ed Lucas that then turned into a four run rally Washington couldn’t come back from; Marlins 8, Nats 4. Blevins was removed after 1/3 of an inning and gave up three runs on three hits and was replaced by right-handed reliever Aaron Barrett. Barrett stopped the bleeding but not before the fourth run of the frame scored.
“It’s a tough one to swallow,” Barrett said, “because I strive for perfection.”
“I know I’m not going to be perfect but at the same time that’s my job to [get] those guys there, give our team a chance to win, and I didn’t do the job tonight.”
Washington fought hard in the tenth and battled with right-handed reliever Steve Cishek but in the end they only managed to tack-on one run when third baseman Anthony Rendon scored off a sacrifice fly hit by first baseman Adam LaRoche.
“We could go home and pout about it or take a day off, come back out here, ready to go to battle again,” LaRoche said.