Hero of the Game: No one tonight
Goat of the Game: Ricky Nolasco (-0.178 WPA)
Play of the Game: Kurt Suzuki homered in the fifth inning (-0.085 WPA)
The Miami Marlins were in this game, at least at the onset. The Washington Nationals jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning thanks to two singles and a series of unfortunate events that allowed the baserunners to advance home. The Marlins were unable to emulate those events with two singles in the bottom of the frame, as the Fish proceeded to strike out twice and ground out with runners on first and second and leave them stranded.
Stranding runners was the name of the game in tonight's affair. The Marlins managed seven hits, including two doubles, but the club ended up stranding six of those runners, scoring only when Donovan Solano managed to drive in Chris Valaika on his double in the fifth inning. Meanwhile, Ricky Nolasco and the Marlins were less lucky, as the Nationals scored five of their 11 baserunners that reached. The Nationals did their job in driving runners in, while the Marlins had just two of their hits occur after an initial runner reached base.
For Nolasco, it was a confusing start a la the ones he had in 2009. On the positive side, he looked like 2008-2010 Nolasco, striking out six batters and walking none in six innings. He induced eight swings and misses in 100 pitches and had a 1.5-to-one balls-to-called-strike ratio. These results are classic findings of the old strike zone-pounding, strikeout machine that Nolasco once was. On the bad side, he allowed a home run and seven hits along with four runs, and he was unable to assist the Marlins in stranding some of those baserunners. In the end, it was a good start in terms of process but a mediocre one in terms of results.
The Marlins move on to face the Cincinnati Reds at the Great American Ballpark for a four-game set starting tomorrow night.