The Marlins and the Nationals played to a 2-2 tie through regulation but in extra innings, the bullpen couldn't keep the Nats at bay and the Marlins offense with the tying run on third and the winning run on second failed to find a way to bring them home. The Marlins were 1-4 in extra innings coming into tonight's contest and now they are 1-5. Apparently, extra innings ain't the Fish's thang.
The Nationals got on the board first when in the second inning, after striking out Laynce Nix and Adam LaRoche Ricky Nolasco gave up a single to right to Ivan Rodriguez. Then Jerry Hairston doubled to left scoring Pudge. Now, I'm not sure how a catcher scores from first on a double to left. I didn't see this part of the game because I wasn't home from work yet, but that normally doesn't happen. Anyways it made the score: 1-0 Nationals.
The Nationals would add to their total in fourth and I don't get to see this one either. LaRoche singled to open the inning and next up was Pudge. Now, Pudge hits a ground ball to Omar Infante and the next part really isn't clear to me. From the play-by-play:
Ivan Rodriguez grounds out, second baseman Omar Infante to shortstop Hanley Ramirez to first baseman Gaby Sanchez. Adam LaRoche to 2nd.
Did we really need to throw the ball around the horn to get an out at first? I'm guessing the Marlins botched a double-play here. Of course, LaRoche could've been running on the play. I don't know. However it happened, LaRoche would advance to third on Hairston's single and Ian Desmond would plate him with a sac fly center. Making the score: 2-0 Nationals. Me: still not home.
In the meantime the Marlins were having a tough time solving Jordan Zimmerman, but in the fifth they found a chink in his armor. Greg Dobbs opened the inning with a single to left and John Buck followed with a double to left to put runners on second and third with no outs. Infante hit a sac fly to center plating Dobbs and allowing Buck to move up to third. So with a runner on third with one out and Ricky at the plate, Joe Espada called a timeout and talked with Ricky and then with Buck so everyone knew what to do, unfortunately, someone forgot to listen. Buck broke towards the plate for a suicide squeeze. Ricky, however instead of bunting, took the pitch for a ball, needless to say Buck was tagged out. Not sure who missed what, but I'm thinking it was Buck who made the mistake, but we will know later. Nonetheless, wasted opportunity or not, the Marlins did get on the board making the score 2-1 Nationals.
The Marlins made some more noise in the sixth when with one out Emilio Bonifacio walked and Hanley Ramirez followed with a single moving Boni to third. Next up was Gaby Sanchez and he knows what to do in these situations. He hit a soft liner to center scoring Boni and moving Hanley to second. Mike Stanton then hit a line drive to first baseman LaRoche who tried to tag Gaby for an unassisted double play. First base umpire Gary Cederstrom said he did and called Gaby out to end the inning. Gaby jumped up and said: He did not tag me. Gaby argued, first base coach Perry Hill argued, Edwin argued, but the call stood. The replay, of course, shows LaRoche never tagged Gaby. The score now, 2-2 Marlins.
And there it would stay until the tenth. In the Nationals half of the inning with one out pitcher Mike Dunn walked Jason Werth. Nix followed with a double and the LaRoche doubled to right sending Werth to third. LaRoche hit a sac fly to left and Werth easily scored the go ahead run. 3-2 Nationals.
In the Marlins half of the tenth they hoped to at least answer back and they did put themselves in position to do so. Dobbs opened with leadoff single to left and was replaced on base by Ozzie Martinez. Buck singled to right sending Ozzie to third with no outs. Brett Hayes replaced Buck on the base path. So the tying is on third with no outs. Infante hits a comebacker to the mound and Hayes moved to second. So with one out, the tying is still 90' away and now the winning run is in scoring position. With the pitcher's spot due up, Wes Helms came on to pinch-hit. But unfortunately he was called out on a third strike that made Pudge come out of his crouch and lunge for the ball. Now, according to Fox tract, the pitch landed in the zone, but when you miss your target that badly, you shouldn't get credit. So with two outs it was Chris Coghlan's turn a the plate. The Nationals brought in lefty Sean Burnett to face Cogz and on the first pitch Cogz softly lined out to center to end the game. Final score: 3-2 Nationals.
I said it in the open thread and I will say it again: if you can't score the tying run from third with no outs, you don't deserve to win.
Ricky pitched a very solid game going 7 innings giving up 6 hits, 2 BB, 2 R and striking out 11. Too bad the team couldn't get him a win. But really it worse they couldn't get a win for the team as a whole. They had their chances to do so, they just blew them.