August 3, 2012; Washington D.C, USA; Miami Marlins pitcher Brad Hand (52) throws a pitch during the game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE
Hero of the Game: Jose Reyes (0.091 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Brad Hand (-0.396 WPA)
Play of the Game: Mark DeRosa singles in the first inning with the bases loaded. Jayson Werth scores. Adam LaRoche scores. (-0.172 WPA)
There was not much to say about game one of the doubleheader between the Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals. The Fish began the game so promisingly against starting pitcher John Lannan, quickly loading the bases with no outs following Jose Reyes's bunt single (a hit that extended his hit streak to 21 games).
But from there, the Marlins were demolished by a Nationals lineup that ate up Marlins starter Brad Hand, while the team's lineup did nothing until the latter part of the game, when the result was already clear.First Inning of Dashed Hopes
The Marlins looked to be building a nice opportunity early in the game when the team loaded the bags on Lannan. Emilio Bonifacio walked, Donovan Solano singled, and Reyes laid down a beautiful bunt to extend his hit streak. But from there, it all went downhill on both sides of the ball, starting with the offense. Carlos Lee drove home the run, but he did so by hitting into a tailor-made double play. Despite driving the run home, Lee actually cost the team more of a chance to win the game by recording the two outs; that play was worth -0.072 WPA.
It also turned into a series of offensive mishaps that plagued the Marlins all game. In the second inning, the Marlins developed another run-scoring opportunity with runners on first and second with one out. Hand attempted a sacrifice bunt, but failed to do so in spectacular fashion. He popped the bunt up and first baseman Adam LaRoche allowed the ball to drop and initiated a double play on the two runners, ending the inning. This play was a representation of the Marlins' ineptitude at the plate most of the game.
Brad Hand With a Bad Hand
The less that is said about Hand's outing, the better perhaps. Let's eschew my usual analysis and just say that walking six batters, allowing six hits, and letting through seven runs in less than four innings will earn you a demotion faster than you can say "blowout." Hand could not find the plate against any hitter on the Nationals side, especially after two outs. He allowed his first and fourth inning runs all with two outs, and peppered in an Adam LaRoche home run to center field along the way. Needless to say, Hand was terrible, and right after the game he was optioned back to Triple-A in favor of pitcher Evan Reed.
The Marlins continued not only suffering from hitting woes, but also injury woes as well. Starting third baseman Donnie Murphy reaggravated a hamstring injury and was forced to step out of the game. In to pinch run for him was Justin Ruggiano, who was sitting out his third consecutive game with back spasms. When he later came to the plate, he took two Ruggiano violent swings and noticeably winced in pain, indicating that he likely was not ready to return to the lineup.
Combine that with the injury that occurred later in the evening to Bonifacio, and the Marlins' already think ranks are getting thinner and thinner, to the point that the Fish may just have to promote the Triple-A New Orleans ball club just to play the games for them.