Swept by the Rays? No problem.
Not when the Nationals are up next on the schedule.
Not to disrespect my second-favorite team in the division, but after the way the Sunshine Series unfolded, a three-game set against the bowels of the NL East is just what the doctor ordered.
The Fish didn’t even need their ace Wednesday afternoon to complete their third sweep of the Nats this season. Uh, and that’s probably a good thing, seeing as it appeared to have slipped Josh Johnson’s mind that he is, in fact, said ace. JJ only gave up one run, but struggled with his command from the get-go, giving up four walks and five hits in his shortest outing of the season.
Josh exited the game after just 3 1/3 innings, which might be considered a bad thing for a team which does not employ The Hopper. Since the Marlins do, though, it was all good as Hop pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings in relief.
It just wouldn’t be a game against the Nats if there were no early deficit to overcome, so the Fish promptly fell behind in the first inning. They took back the lead in the third when Hanley knocked in two runs on a double (a double which, by the way, extends Hanley’s RBI-streak to ten games).
*insert obligatory rain delay*
In the top of the seventh, Renyel Pinto was all like, “hey, they’re making this way too easy on us,” so he decided to challenge his team by giving up two walks, two hits, two runs and the Marlins’ lead in just one-third of an inning. Cody Ross made up for Pinto’s real bad pitching by going deep to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh, Wes Helms grounded into a fielder’s choice to score the go-ahead run in the eighth, Leo Nunez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, and voila!
The Marlins are now 9-0 against the Nats this season, and are just a game behind the Phillies for first place in the NL East.
Official HLD&S Position: We heart the Natinals!