Spoiler isn't the role Marlins players envisioned when they set about their business in spring training; nevertheless, in late August with their own play-off hopes long dashed, it is the role to which fate has apportioned them. On Friday night, the Fish took to this role with zeal, grinding out a win against a determined Nats squad.
The Marlins got to unquestioned ace Max Scherzer early in the ballgame. After two quick outs, three hole hitter du jour Martin Prado got his first hit of the night, singling sharply through the hole into left. Double D Derek Dietrich followed up with a deep double to center to score the Prado from second and give the Fish the lead, 1-0.
The Nationals would strike back in the second via an Ian Desmond solo shot. In the top of the third after Dee Gordon singled, Martin Prado would strike again, this time swatting a deep fly into the left field bleachers, a two run shot that would bring our score to 3-1 Fish. In the 4th, Marcel Ozuna would tack on another, crushing a chest high fastball dead-center for a solo shot, 4-1 Fish.
The Nats would not go quietly, however, with Wilson Ramos homering in the fifth and Jayson Werth scoring off of a Ryan Zimmerman sac fly in the 6th, the latter coming after Adam Conley's exit from the game. Conley would end up going five innings giving up three earned run on six hits, walking one and striking out six, an adequate performance given his experience. Kyle Barraclough relieved Conley and gave up the sac fly but otherwise was able to get out of the inning unscathed. Bryan Morris and Mike Dunn further combined for two innings scoreless.
In the ninth, with AJ Ramos on the mound, the Nats threatened with an Ian Desmond single. Danny Espinosa sacrificed him over, but then Ramos struck out Ramos (not a typo) and got Clint Robinson to fly out weakly to end the game. 4-3 Marlins, your final.
Of note, Prado and Ozuna had two hits apiece, the former singling and homering and the latter homering and doubling.
Tom Koehler and Jordan Zimmermann tomorrow, game two, 7:05 EST.
Hero of the Game: Kyle Barraclough (+.227)
Goat of the Game: Adam Conley (-.245)
Play of the Game: Martin Prado two run shot in the third (+.193)