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Nationals 3, Marlins 2: Mark Reynolds walk-off HR extends “bad ownage” in one-sided rivalry

Ahhhhhh, the burns!

MLB: Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Fish Stripes is a community. Collaboration makes us stronger and more accurately captures the psyche of the fanbase. I was struggling to describes Friday night’s 3-2 walk-off loss until...

Yes, he is correct—the Fish have dropped 13 games in a row to their NL East rival dating back to last season. There aren’t any longer active “ownage” streaks in Major League Baseball between division rivals. These franchises have a special relationship.

  • Dan Straily: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K (111 pitches)
  • Gio González: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K (114 pitches)

As a rule of thumb, Straily succeeds when he keeps everything in the ballpark. In 45 career Marlins starts prior to this game, he had surrendered 44 home runs, so that’s why his overall production since the 2017 trade has been underwhelming.

But in this case, the veteran right-hander did his part...and benefited from some flashy fielding.

Working Garrett Cooper back into the lineup after three months on the disabled list, Don Mattingly could only create space for him in left field. It was Cooper’s very first major league game at that position. The inexperience showed, but at least he made plays on all the batted balls in his area...

...Except for this one, of course:

Mark Reynolds represents something of a best-case scenario for Cooper’s career: somebody who earns significant playing time deep into his 30s as a valuable right-handed bat while being able to go through the motions at various defensive positions.

The Marlins threatened often against González, but failed to capitalize with only one extra-base hit (Starlin Castro’s double). The silver lining is they battled enough to get into the Nats bullpen. Closer Sean Doolittle worked for the second straight game and his availability for Saturday is questionable.

After being named NL Reliever of the Month in June, Kyle Barraclough has predictably regressed. Don’t count on too many more home runs, but generally speaking, falling behind in counts as frequently as he does leaves him vulnerable to hard contact. Barraclough will need to consider adjustments, like different pitch sequencing to get batters to chase out of the strike zone, because he’s been living more dangerously than the earned run average would suggest.

A more glaring mismatch than either of the previous two nights, probables for Game 3 of the series are Wei-Yin Chen and Max Scherzer. Although Chen legitimately has performed well in recent outings, he’s been a wreck on the road (9.85 ERA, 2.01 WHIP). First pitch at approximately 7:15pm (televised on FOX).

July 6, 2018 win probability chart
Courtesy of FanGraphs

Attendance: 32,652

Please leave any Icthy picks in the comments below. Remember, we introduced a new grand prize for the contest this season!

7/6/18 Probable Starters

Name Team IP ERA FIP K/9 fWAR
Name Team IP ERA FIP K/9 fWAR
Dan Straily Marlins 59.1 4.70 5.87 7.89 -0.5
Gio González Nationals 90.2 3.77 3.92 8.54 1.1

Today's Lineups

Starlin Castro - 2B Trea Turner - SS
Brian Anderson - RF Juan Soto - LF
J.T. Realmuto - C Anthony Rendon - 3B
Martin Prado - 3B Bryce Harper - CF
Justin Bour - 1B Matt Adams - 1B
Garrett Cooper - LF Adam Eaton - RF
Miguel Rojas - SS Wilmer Difo - 2B
Cameron Maybin - CF Spencer Kieboom - C
Dan Straily - RHP Gio Gonzalez - LHP

Matchup Summary

In Thursday’s series opener, the Marlins sprinted out to their largely lead of the season. Barely one hour later, it was all gone. This franchise has never played another game quite like that.

Dating back to 2017, they have now lost 12 straight games to the Nationals.

Dan Straily has pitched 13 13 total innings over his past two starts, both among his longest of the season. The Marlins hope for more of that on Friday night to lessen the workload on their main relievers and maybe position Straily as a midseason trade candidate.

After two incredible months to kick off his walk year, Gio González is plummeting back to Earth. His most recent quality start was June 2. González issued the most walks in the National League last summer and once again has had his struggles in that department for the underachieving Nats.

Fresh off the disabled list, Garrett Cooper hopes to salvage his rookie campaign with big second-half production. His outfield defense could be an adventure (he was developed as a first baseman), but the bat offers some promise. Cooper posted a .876 OPS during his 11-game rehab assignment.

Thread Question: Do you remember the other time the Marlins blew a nine-run lead back in 2008? What’s more painful: losing the lead in a hurry—like on Thursday—or failing to hold on at the very end?