Scott Olsen looked like the pitcher of old when he took the mound against his former team last night, however the gallant effort was not enough for a week hitting Nationals team, which lost 4-2.
Florida’s starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco contributed one of his best starts of the season in the Marlins victory. The 26 year old pitched eight strong innings allowing only four hits, two earned runs, and struck out eight batters while walking none.
Nolasco’s line against the Nationals becomes even more impressive when you consider that the four hits he allowed were not scattered. The Florida righty had one bad inning, the second, where he allowed all of his earned runs and three out of the four hits he gave up all night. Barring that, he was throwing absolute smoke.
The Nationals second inning was strong but not enough. Ryan Zimmermann led off the inning with a homer to left, his 13th of the year. Willingham continued his hot streak with a ground rule double to center, and Will Nieves singled him home, giving the Nationals the 2-0 lead.
Olsen’s great night wasn’t enough to hold the Nationals lead.
Carroll led of the Marlins third with a double to left center. A sacrifice, a single, and a Emilio Bonifacio triple to center later and the game was tied up at two a piece.
After the rocky third inning, Olsen locked in and pitched well, proving he deserved a spot in this rotation. In total Olsen tossed seven full innings, allowing only four hits, two earned runs, and struck out seven while walking none.
In the eighth inning Nationals manager Manny Acta turned the ball over to the bullpen. However neither Ron Villone nor Julian Tavares could keep the Marlins off the board. Two runs in the bottom of the eighth gave the Marlins the go ahead lead, and the victory.
The lack of run production in this game can arguably lie in large part with the top of the line up.
Willie Harris went 0-4 with three strikeouts, not even sniffing the base paths. Cristian Guzman went 0-4, and shockingly enough, didn’t earn a walk.
Their 0-8 performance stings so much more when you consider that the middle of the line up did their job. Nick Johnson, Ryan Zimmermann, Adam Dunn, and Josh Willingham combined for five of the Nationals six hits, however there were never any runners on the base paths to knock in.