If you’re an old school baseball fan and love it when a team can string hits together, move guys around the bases and eventually score them, you likely hated Wednesday night’s game between the Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins. Combined, the teams were a comical 3-for-23 with runners in scoring position.
Early and often, base runners were left on base. For the Nationals, it started as early as the first inning when Denard Span knocked a leadoff double and eventually got stranded at third. In the second inning, Steve Lombardozzi doubled, which scored Ian Desmond, but then he was stranded at second after Scott Hairston struck out.
For the Marlins, they started abandoning their friends in the third inning when Justin Ruggiano was essentially stranded at second — Christian Yelich grounded into an inning-ending fielder’s choice which had Ed Lucas out at second; Ruggiano started the play at second base.
Sometimes, it was just bad base running and base runners stranded themselves. In the bottom of the third, Nationals’ Bryce Harper doubled in Ryan Zimmerman, but was then called out when Jayson Werth lined out and Harper was picked off trying to get back to the bag. In the bottom of the fifth, Anthony Rendon made a mistake by trying to advance to third from second on a ball that was grounded directly to the shortstop. The out-call at third base was an easy one.
The only time either team was able to really string anything together was in the top of the sixth inning. The Marlins got four-straight hits off of Nationals’ reliever Ryan Mattheus. They scored two runs that inning and took the lead, 3-2.
For the Nationals, the difference were Werth, who hit a solo-shot in the bottom of the sixth, and Desmond, who collected an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh for the go-ahead run. Funny enough, Desmond’s RBI was thanks to Marlins’ pitcher Mike Dunn, who tried to pick off Span with a throwback that got past the first baseman. Span then advanced to second on the error. Werth was then walked to get to Desmond who eventually made them pay.
But, that wasn’t the end of the funky play. In the bottom of the eighth, the Nationals spoiled a golden opportunity to pad their lead. Zimmerman stepped to the plate with a man on first and second and, in line with the trend, stranded him by striking out to end the inning.
All in all, it was a weird night at the ball park. Base runners were getting themselves out, there was a long rain delay and Desmond almost tagged two runners out while standing on the same base (check the highlights for that play, it was strange).