The Washington Nationals rebounded from their blowout loss to the Astros with a clean and tidy 2-0 win over the Miami Marlins on Friday night. It was the first meeting of the year between the two NL East foes, and Nats made quick work in a game that lasted two hours and 31 minutes. It was the first shutout of the Marlins at Nationals Park.
As has been the case throughout the first month of the season, Davey Johnson received an excellent start from his pitching staff. This time it was Ross Detwiler who went to work, pitching six scoreless innings and giving up only three hits against the Marlins lineup. Detwiler was fantastic, blowing it by the Fish seven times.
The bullpen picked up right where Detwiler left off, closing it out with three scoreless innings in relief. Tyler Clippard struggled a bit in the 8th inning, as the Marlins seemed determined to waste a bunch of pitches. But he got through it unscathed, stranding runners at first and second with a strikeout of the always dangerous Hanley Ramirez.
With the pitching staff keeping the Marlins in check all night, the offense didn't need to do much. Rick Ankiel led off the bottom of the 3rd with his first home run and RBI of the season. Ankiel took Carlos Zambrano, his former NL Central division rival, deep to center for the 1-0 lead. That would be the game-winning run, but Washington would add insurance in the bottom of the 8th when Ian Desmond knocked in Ankiel with an infield single.
The Nats have now won the opening game in each of their three home series this season, improving to 7-2 at home and 11-4 overall. Ace Stephen Strasburg will look to keep up the staff's success in Game 2 on Saturday afternoon.