Just a few hours after Fredi Gonzalez delivered a "State of the Marlins" address to the team, the Fish took the field in Washington DC and showed that a stern talking-to by their manager-in-chief might have been just the ticket to break the losing streak.
Well, either that, or just playing the Natinals was enough to do the trick.
It started with quality pitching, as Chris Volstad delivered a nice start for the Marlins, going seven innings and giving up only two earned runs on four hits.
Craig Stammen didn't do anything to make it easy for the Marlins, though, as he nearly matched Volstad's start. Stammen lasted 6 2/3 innings, and also gave up two runs on four hits, while striking out a career-high eight. (Not that recording career-high K's against the Fish should be considered any sort of major accomplishment. Just sayin'.)
One thing the Marlins did not improve on after Fredi's motivational speech was their recent trend of allowing the opposition to score first. The Nats manufactured a run off of Volstad in the first inning to put the Fish in a hole for the seventh straight game.
The Fish tied up the score in the second, when John Baker reached on an error, and scored on Cody's double.
Volstad gave up a solo home run to Ryan Zimmerman in the bottom of the sixth to put the Nats back on top, but the Marlins answered right back. In the top of the seventh, they knotted up the score once again when Jorge Cantu busted up his 0-for-19 slump on a home run to left.
Nats reliever Brian Bruney (love that guy!) continued to embed his place in the hearts of Fish fans when he gave up two runs to the Marlins in the top of the eighth.
Bryan Petersen was called up from AAA Thursday night after the Fish designated Mike Lamb for assignment, and made his first appearance for the Marlins in the eighth. In his very first big league at-bat, he delivered a pinch-hit and scored on Gaby Sanchez's RBI single to give the Marlins their first lead of the game. The Fish added another run on a sacrifice by Cantu, and handed over a 4-2 lead to Leo Nunez.
Leo allowed one hit in the bottom of the ninth, but recorded his fifth save of the season, and the Marlins snapped their losing streak in the nation's capital.
Hail to the chief.