Hero of the game: C. Zambrano (.168)
Goat of the game: H. Ramirez (-.161)
Play of the game: R. Ankiel Home Run (.128)
President of the game: T. Jefferson
Fridays matchup between the Nationals and the Marlins was a tight one. Both teams were playing well coming into this series. After an uneventful first inning, Stanton led off the second with a single to left. Gaby Sanchez would fly out before Austin Kearns would double to left. Stanton was held at third and John Buck would get an opportunity. He lifted one to center, but not deep enough for Stanton to tag, especially with Rick Ankiel throwing. Donnie Murphy would then strike out to end the threat. Zambrano would toss another one, two, three to end the inning.
Rick Ankiel led off the bottom of the third with a solo shot to center. Zambrano then regrouped and pitched very well the rest of his outing. Zambrano finished going seven innings, with two hits, one earned run, and six strikeouts. Detwiler also pitched a fantastic game going six, with three hits, no earned runs, and seven strikeouts.
The eighth inning opened with Tyler Clippard taking the mound for the Nats. Chris Coghlan hit a shot to left-center which looked like a gapper but Rick Ankiel had a great jump and made the catch before running into the wall. Logan Morrison then ran hard on a dribbler and came up with an infield hit. Reyes came up, but grounded out with Lomo advancing to second. Bonifacio then had a great at-bat, fouling off pitch after pitch, and drew a walk after thirteen pitches. With runners on first and second, Hanley came to the plate only to strike out swinging on a high fastball.
Steve Cishek started off the bottom of the eighth. He struck out Nady before Rick Ankiel would record his third hit of the game. Ankiel hit the ball down the right field line. He made a hard turn and continued to second. Stanton made a good throw to Reyes and it beat him by a few feet. Jose leaned down and was set to apply the tag to Ankiel's left arm, but Ankiel slid that arm up to avoid the tag and grabbed the base with his right hand. Flores would then hit one back to the mound and while Cishek had the play to get Ankiel out at third, he chose to get the out at first instead. Tracy would then get an intentional walk before Desmond would single and drive in Ankiel for a huge insurance run. Espinosa would stike out to end the inning.
The ninth started with Henry Rodriguez pitching to Stanton who would fly out to shallow center. Gaby Sanchez then drew a walk and would advance to second on a wild pitch. Dobbs would fly out to left before Buck drew a walk. With the tying run on base, Chris Coughlan grounded into a fielders choice to end the game.
While the winning steak is over, I think we can still take this series. Tomorrow is going to be a great game between Strasburg and Anibal. Don't forget its a one-o-clock start. See you here!