Friday, April 24, 2015: Nationals 2 Marlins 3
Saturday, April 25, 2015: Nationals 0 Marlins 8
Sunday, April 26, 2015: Nationals 2 Marlins 6
The Washington Nationals faced the Miami Marlins for the first time this weekend and the Marlins easily completed a three game sweep of the Nationals on Sunday afternoon defeating them 6-2. The Nationals managed just four runs during the series and they were shutout 8-0 Saturday evening. The Nationals got only one strong performance from a starting pitcher, Jordan Zimmerman, and even that was squandered by a struggling bullpen and an offense that continues to struggle with consistency issues. Sunday afternoon’s loss leaves the Nationals with a 7-12 record and puts them in last place in the National League East—7 ½ games behind the first place New York Mets. Marlins Park is not a hitters park, but the Nationals offense proved especially inept only managing one home run and two other extra-base hits. The team was not carried by any individual this series, but the three nominees for Star of the Series kept the games from completely getting out of hand. Here are the nominees for the 4/24-4/26 series against the Marlins.
- Yunel Escobar
- Bryce Harper
- Wilson Ramos
Yunel Escobar continued to demonstrate his offensive consistency this series. Escobar had at least one hit in all three games and now has a 16-game on-base streak this season. Escobar’s longest on-base streak was in 2011 when he had a 25-game on-base streak with the Toronto Blue Jays. Escobar has a .361 OBP—the second highest on the team behind Bryce Harper. Escobar reached base safely three times in Sunday afternoon’s 6-2 defeat. He drew walks in the fourth and fifth inning before hitting a single to right field in his final at bat of the game.
Bryce Harper was the biggest reason why the Nationals were not completely embarrassed this weekend. Harper had three hits and drew two more walks to add to his league leading 17 total walks. Harper also drove in three of the four runs the Nationals scored this series. He connected just enough on Sunday afternoon with a splitter from Dan Haren to hit his team leading fifth home run of the season. Harper put together a terrific performance during Friday night’s 3-2 defeat. Harper drove in Ian Desmond on a sacrifice fly to center field. He added a second RBI when he hit a single in the sixth inning to score Denard Span and tie the game 2-2. Harper also demonstrated excellent defensive skills in right field. Dee Gordon unsuccessfully tried to stretch a single into a double in the bottom of the fifth inning on Friday night and he was thrown out by a strong throw from Harper for the third out of the inning.
Wilson Ramos did not drive in any runs this series, but he and Escobar led the Nationals with four hits this series. Ramos scored a run on a Span single to left field on Sunday afternoon. Ramos was only tested on the basepaths three times this series by Dee Gordon. Gordon, who stole a major league leading 64 bases in 2014, was thrown out twice on three attempts this series by Ramos. Ramos made a costly blunder on Sunday when he held onto the ball for too long during a rundown where Giancarlo Stanton was presumably hung out to dry when he overran third base in the bottom of the fourth inning. The mistake prolonged the inning which saw the winning run to score.
Star of the Series: Bryce Harper
Bryce Harper was not the reason why the Nationals won any games this series, but he continues to showcase his value as a consistent power hitter in an inconsistent lineup.