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Heroes and Zeroes: Nationals 1, Marlins 0

A pitchers duel at Marlins Park ends with three gunners on top.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Heroes and Zeroes is a series where I use the Wins Expectancy Added (WPA) metric to rank each player's weighted contribution to the outcome of any given game. I rank the players from highest positive impact to highest negative. The three on top are the Heroes, the ones on bottom are the Zeroes.


Max Scherzer (WAS) .381

Scherzer showed some of the stuff that netted him the 2013 AL Cy Young Award, going seven innings and allowing three singles, walking three and striking out six. No runner advanced past second. His win expectancy on the hill was actually .480, but he went 0-for-2 from the plate.

Jonathan Papelbon (WAS) .184

Papelbon didn't waste any time in continuing his dominance against the Marlins after getting traded from the Philadelphia Phillies earlier this week. In his first appearance for the Nationals, he took nine pitches to finish off the Marlins in the ninth, getting Ichiro! to hit a comebacker (+8.3%), Christian Yelich to line out to second (+5.9%) and pinch hitter Michael Morse to strike out on four pitches (+4.2%).

Dan Haren (MIA) .151

On another night, against most other pitchers, Haren would have earned a win with his effort for the Marlins, possibly his last start for Miami. He pitched six innings and struck out four, allowing four hits and two walks. Of course, one of those hits was Ryan ZImmerman's home run in the second which stood as the only run on the board through nine.

Almost Heroes

Drew Storen (WAS) .133

Ryan ZImmerman (WAS) .102

Michael A Taylor (WAS) .102

Bryan Morris (MIA) .050

Mike Dunn (MIA) .046

Derek Dietrich (MIA) .040

AJ Ramos (MIA) .033

Miguel Rojas (MIA) .023

Minimal Impact

Cole Gillespie (MIA) .022

Casey McGehee (MIA) .009

Bryce Harper (WAS) -.004

Jayson Werth (WAS) -.011

Michael Morse (MIA) -.042

Wilson Ramos (WAS) -.055

Justin Bour (MIA) -.060

Almost Zeroes

JT Realmuto (MIA) -.061

Clint Robinson (WAS) -.069

Yunel Escobar (WAS) -.073

Ian Desmond (WAS) -.082

Dee Gordon (MIA) -.092

Ichiro Suzuki (MIA) -.094

Jeff Mathis (MIA) -.104

Anthony Rendon (WAS) -.107


Martin Prado (MIA) -.127

Prado was moved down to fifth in the order, and fouled out to lead off the second (-2.5%). He flew out to right with a man on first to close the fourth (-3.0%), then struck out swinging with a man on first and nobody out in the seventh (-7.2%).

Adeiny Hechavarria (MIA) -.136

Hechavarria didn't have anyone to protect him at seventh in the order (Jeff Mathis batted eighth, followed by the pitcher spot). He struck out with the bases empty to end the second (-1.1%), hit safely into a fielders choice which erased Derek Dietrich for the second out of the fifth (-5.2%), and struck out with a man on second to end Miami's last good chance to score in the seventh inning (-7.4%).

Christian Yelich (MIA) -.158

It's just not fair. Yelich batted third in the order, and after Scherzer had been through the order twice was the only Marlin to have hit safely. He hit a two-out single to center in the first (+1.2%) and stole second (+1.0%) before getting stranded. He hit a one-out infield single in the fourth (+3.4%), but would end the inning there after a Casey McGehee strikeout and a Martin Prado can-of-corn. His dubious finish at the bottom of this particular pile is due largely in part to his unfortunate inning ending double play in the sixth (-15.4%), which was Miami's only plate appearance with more than one runner on base. He closed his night with a lineout to second base (-5.9%).

Best and Worst

As just mentioned, Florida's worst was Yelich's double play ball in the sixth (-15.4%).

Washington's low point offensively was when Max Scherzer tried failed to sacrifice bunt Michael Taylor to third base with nobody out in the fifth inning. Strictly speaking, it wasn't really Scherzer's fault, as Taylor could have tried to slide into third, but simply ran in upright and got tagged out on a 2-5 putout.

Miami's best moment was Casey McGehee's leadoff single in the seventh inning (+7.8%), but McGehee only got as far as second base before three outs were recorded by pitcher-of-record Scherzer.

Ryan ZImmerman recorded Washington's best moment with his solo home run in the second inning (+11.2%)

Tomorrow, the Marlins begin a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks starting at 7:05 PM.