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Nationals 9, Marlins 3; Road Chen stays true to his 2018 splits

The blowout was mercifully shortened by rain.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals
Likely playing his final home game for the Nationals, Bryce Harper treated the fans to an easy win.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Marlins have had no success against the Nationals lineup this season, so why should their final meeting be any different? Bryce Harper was one of the few quiet bats for the Nats on Wednesday in their 9-3 win.

  • Wei-Yin Chen: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 1 K (72 pitches)
  • Kyle McGowin: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K (68 pitches)

Widely expect to be Harper’s final home game with the franchise that drafted and developed him, the fans responded accordingly. Many in attendance made the trek to see non-contending, weekday baseball just to express their gratitude to the superstar.

Despite an 0-for-4 afternoon, his supporting cast picked up the slack against Road Chen.

The veteran left-hander’s ugly results away from Marlins Park (9.27 ERA) have usually been a combination of bad luck and shoddy command. That was the story behind Washington’s five-run, second-inning explosion.

Spencer Kieboom made it 2-0 with a grounder up the middle, only because Chen had already loaded the bases:

Kyle McGowin, making his first career start, wasn’t a legitimate threat at the plate, but got rewarded just for putting the ball in play:

Chen faced 22 Nats, only striking out one. Not a wise approach with the Marlins using a lot of reserve players (second baseman Christopher Bostick!).

The bullpen didn’t fare much better—Victor Robles enjoyed a career day, breaking the game wide open with a three-run homer into the visitor’s bullpen:

The season series between these NL East foes is now complete. The Nats went 13-6, scoring 123 runs (nearly 6 12 per game). Even with Harper possibly departing, Robles, Juan Soto and Trea Turner lead a very formidable young core that should keep the club relevant for years to come.

Here’s a bright spot!

Brian Anderson single-handedly drove in half of the Marlins’ runs this week. All season, he’s shown the ability to emerge from slumps before they become too excessive. Bodes well for his future as an impactful everyday player.

BA got it done just before the rain intensified. The grounds crew rolled out the tarp after the seventh inning and we spent about an hour in a delay before the teams agreed to an abbreviated game.

One. More. Series. The Fish get an off day in New York Thursday, then oppose the Mets for David Wright weekend.

September 26, 2018 win probability chart
Courtesy of FanGraphs

Attendance: 28,680