The Washington Nationals have been off and on all of 2011 so far, but mostly off and Saturday afternoon's game against the Florida Marlins was another example of how tough a year the team from D.C. is having getting things done. Starter Livan Hernandez pitched seven-innings of six hit ball, but one mistake cost him and the team the game against the Fish 1-0.
Hernandez and Florida's Anibal Sanchez were locked in a pitcher's duel until the seventh-inning when Hernandez served up a fat sinker to Mike Stanton who crushed it over the left center field wall at Nationals Park. It was all the Marlins would need. The Nationals have spent the last three games rallying, going into extra innings and scoring runs, but Saturday it looked like the team ran out of juice and entered one of the offensive cold spells that are becoming more numerous and concerning as the season goes on.
The one highlight of the game for the Nationals was newly called up reliever Cole Kimball made his Major League debut in the ninth-inning. Kimball's first pitch was a 92 mph 4-Seam fastball called strike on the Marlins Gaby Sanchez. Kimball was able to get Gaby striking out swinging. He ended up getting out of the inning unscathed and only giving up one walk to Stanton.
The Nats have fallen into the cellar of the NL East with a 18-21 record. On Sunday the Nationals try to avoid the sweep at the hands of the Marlins in a 1:35 P.M. EST afternoon game.