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What I Liked / Didn’t Like in the Nationals three-game stand at Marlins Park

Game 1: 3-2 loss on Friday night (April 24)

Game 2: 8-0 loss on Saturday (April 25)

Game 3: 6-2 loss on Sunday afternoon (April 26)

What I liked:

1. Yunel Escobar – Escobar went 4-for-10 with two walks.

2. Wilson Ramos – Ramos went 4-for-12.

3. Jordan Zimmermann’s start in Game 1 – Zimmermann allowed two runs in six innings, issuing no walks off issuing a career-worst-tying four walks in his previous start.

What I didn’t like:

1. The offense overall – The Nats totaled just four runs and batted just .181 (17-for-94), going 2-for-14 with runners in the scoring position.

2. A key defensive screw-up in the bottom of the fourth of Game 3 – After a Danny Espinosa throw to first base was too late to get Ichiro Suzuki, Ryan Zimmerman got Giancarlo Stanton caught in a rundown between third and home.  Ramos, chasing Stanton back toward third, didn’t throw the ball to Escobar, who was standing in front of the bag and then moved out of the way.  Ramos didn’t catch Stanton, everybody was safe and moments later Adeiny Hechavarria belted a three-run triple.

3. Stephen Strasburg’s start in Game 2 – Strasburg allowed four runs in six innings, giving up eight hits and two walks.  The margin of errors was slim given that the Nats got shut out, but Strasburg needed to be better.

4. Gio Gonzalez’s start in Game 3 – Gio allowed six runs in five innings, giving up 10 hits (including three triples) and a walk versus eight strikeouts.  All six of the runs and all three of the triples came after the Nats’ defense failed to tag out Stanton in that rundown.  Gio, like Strasburg, has a history of not responding well to defensive mistakes, and this game was perhaps the latest instance of this trend.

5. Rafael Martin’s outing in Game 2 – Martin allowed four runs in the bottom of the eighth, giving up four hits (including two homers) and a walk.  Otherwise Nats relievers combined to allow one run in six innings with eight strikeouts in the series.

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