The Washington Nationals made things interesting on Wednesday night, but that didn’t stop the team from losing yet again to the Florida Marlins. The Nats scored four runs in the 9th inning against the Florida bullpen, but Laynce Nix just missed a game-tying home run, ending a 7-5 defeat. Washington is now five games under .500 and making themselves comfortable in the NL East basement.
Livan Hernandez continued his expected season slide by pitching only four innings and allowed four runs. Livo started the year strong, but has been easy to hit off of lately and hasn’t gone deep into games. Ross Detwiler followed and tossed two scoreless innings, but the critical mistake was from one of its reliable pitchers, closer Drew Storen. Storen had only pitched once in the last 9 days and needed to get some work in. He gave up a second home run to Mike Cameron, which turned out to be the difference in the game.
The 9th inning rally began when Ian Desmond hit a pinch-hit triple to lead off the frame. After Jesus Flores and Roger Bernadina were retired without Des scoring, it looked like the team was going to lay down for another loss. But Jerry Hairston Jr. hit a single to make the score 7-2. Alex Cora walked, Ryan Zimmerman hit a ground-rule double, and Michael Morse had a two-run single. All of the sudden, Nix was up as the tying run, but a deep drive to right came up just short.
I guess the silver lining to this game is that the team showed some fight and nearly completed a miracle comeback. But a loss is a loss no matter how you slice it and this team has been doing nothing but losing lately. This hasn’t been the same team since Jim Riggleman resigned and Davey Johnson still hasn’t adjusted to managing a baseball game in the 21st century. The Marlins have relished their managerial change, channeling a fountain of youth from 80-year old skipper Jack McKeon. Javy Vazquez continued his turnaround by beating the organization he spent with the team in Montreal.