Before the Storm the Nats Make it Close, After Win 7-6

Photo courtesy of Rukasu1
courtesy of Rukasu1

Before the storm the Nats, for the second night in a row, fought and clawed their way back from an early deficit. Twice they cut the Marlins lead to one. Once in the fourth inning when Zimmerman led off with a single and eventually scored on a Danny Espinosa single. It was short lived though as the Marlins would push their lead back to three runs in the top of the fifth as Detwiler would walk the lead-off hitter, Solano, before Reyes bunted a ball fair and ran into it and Stanton lined out hard to Zimmerman. Carlos Lee would then walk and Ruggiano would ground a ball to LaRoche.

When a ball is headed towards LaRoche Nats fans have started to feel a bit of comfort. It has become an assumption that he will make the play, but this time he didn’t. The ball went between his legs and Solano was able to score. The next batter, John Buck, would then single in an additional run to push the Marlins lead back to three.

Harper would hit a mammoth homer into the upper deck for his 18th of the season tying Mel Ott for the second most all time by a player in his age 19 season. The Nationals refusing to go away or give up until the final out has been recorded has become a mark of the 2012 version of the team. The Marlins would once again push their lead to three on another error with two on and two out and Justin Ruggiano at the plate. This time the error would be credited to Zimmerman, and while it was a low throw, it is a pick that LaRoche normally makes.

Those three unearned runs were important as they were the difference heading into the ninth after in the bottom of the eighth Bryce Harper was hit by a pitch in front of a Zimmerman homer that would once again pull the Nationals within one. Morse and LaRoche would follow it up with singles and Desmond would hit into a fielder’s choice. With pinch runner Eury Perez on third and Desmond on first Desmond would steal second and Espinosa would have a chance to give the Nats the lead, or at least tie the game.

Espinosa though swung from the heels for the first two strikes and then watched the ball go by for strike three. It was a bad approach and the second night in a row that Espinosa’s inability to shorten up his stroke and put a ball in play has hurt the Nationals. The Nats would pinch hit Tracy for Florse and he would be intentionally walked, and Bernadina would represent the Nats final hope in the bottom of the eighth. Like Espinosa his at bat would go the way it did the night before with him striking out swinging with the tying and go-ahead runs on base.

After the storm, Jayson Werth would lead off the ninth inning with a homerun to end an eight pitch at bat. After waiting out a two hour and 36 minute rain delay it is another example of the resiliency of the Nats. Unfortunately Werth would be the only Nat to score in the bottom of the ninth, but in the bottom of the tenth LaRoche and Desmond would start the inning with back to back single to put runners first and third. With Danny Espinosa coming to the plate it looked like he would be put into the same situation he has failed in over the last two games, but the Marlins walked him to pitch to contact hitter Kurt Suzuki.

Suzuki would indeed make contact, but it would be right to the extra infielder that Ozzie Guillen brought in to protect against such things. After the traditional 7-2 fielder’s choice the duty of walking off fell to Corey Brown. And as it has been all season for the Nationals there was a new hero on this night. Corey Brown hit a drive into right field that was charged towards the line by Giancarlo Stanton, but he was unable to come up with it and it went into the books as a single as Desmond trotted home from third.

David Huzzard

David Huzzard was born at Fairfax Hospital in 1981 and has spent his entire life in the Washington, D.C. area. He has been a fan of all the area sports teams either since he was born or since they arrived here. He is also very pleased that his hometown is a burger town.

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