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Marlins whiff 16 times, suffer 3rd straight loss

The Marlins drop to 20 games below .500, continuing their trend of losing close games to the Nats.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

A short-handed Marlins lineup was no match for Stephen Strasburg on Wednesday night, who piled up 14 strikeouts and handed them a 3-1 loss.

Sandy Alcantara: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 1 HR (108 pitches)

Stephen Strasburg: 7.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 14 K (110 pitches)

Seeking to validate his All-Star selection in his final appearance of the first half, Sandy Alcantara had a typically solid outing. He threw nearly two-thirds of his pitches for strikes—71 of 108—and maintained great fastball velocity and movement throughout.

On the verge of a quality start and trying to preserve a 0-0 tie, Alcantara made his big mistake to Brian Dozier. Ahead 0-2 in the count with one on and two outs in the bottom of the sixth, the right-hander hung a slider over the heart of the plate.

Dozier demolished it:

Meanwhile, Strasburg had everything working. Unpredictably mixing up his pitches, his 23 swinging strikes contributed to a season-high 14 punchouts.

The struggling Wei-Yin Chen gave the Nats an insurance run in the eighth on a Matt Adams solo homer.

Entering for the save with a 3-0 lead, closer Sean Doolittle had himself an adventure. The Marlins loaded the bases, pushing one across on a César Puello hit by pitch. It took 33 pitches for Doolittle to finish the job, overpowering Yadiel Rivera with a 96 mile-per-hour fastball for the final strikeout.

Strasburg earned his 20th career win against the Marlins. That’s a new all-time record as he moves ahead of Hall of Famer Greg Maddux.

The Nationals have beaten the Fish five straight times and are 9-1 in their last 10 meetings. The series finale between them on the 4th of July comes with an early wake-up call (11:05 a.m first pitch!). Probable starters are Elieser Hernandez and very old friend Aníbal Sánchez.

Marlins vs. Nationals box score (Baseball Theater)

Fish Picks answer key

  1. Strasburg
  2. Under
  3. Over
  4. No
  5. Nationals