The Nats took the first game 10-3, the Marlins were surprisingly able to steal one Tuesday but Washington reasserted its dominance Wednesday night with a 6-1 win that was never in doubt. The Marlins fell to an embarrassing 3-12 with the loss while the Nationals earned their ninth win.
Washington bats played a big role in the win with six runs on 11 hits, which enabled star Bryce Harper to get up to bat five times as he smacked four hits to increase his average on the young season to .364. He drove in his 11th run of the year and is now slugging a ridiculous .673 as well.
Harper has anchored a lineup that makes you laugh when compared to the Marlins, who had Placido Polanco and his career .402 slugging percentage batting third sandwiched in between second-year man Donovan Solano and cleanup hitter – wait for it – Justin Ruggiano. The 31-year-old Ruggiano has just over 500 at-bats in parts of four major league seasons with a whopping 20 home runs and .328 OBP
The Marlins lineup is filled with career minor leaguers and lineup-fillers such as Austin Kearns and Miguel Olivo with no legitimate prospects ready to showcase. Meanwhile the Nats not only have Harper but also guys like Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Laroche and other respectable hitters down at the bottom of the order in Kurt Suzuki and Ian Desmond; both hitting over .300. The comparison (or lack thereof) doesn’t end with the lineup.
Ross Detwiler, the team’s No.5 starter, twirled seven innings of one-run ball and lowered his season ERA to 0.90. Meanwhile, Marlins No.1 starter and “ace” Ricky Nolasco gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings. Miami stole one win this series and it was thanks to the one legitimate prospect on this squad, starter Jose Fernandez. This series was a prime example of two teams on opposite ends of the spectrum as both are headed in their expected directions early on in the season.