Miami, FL – Stephen Strasburg tossed a gem Easter Sunday as the Washington Nationals blank the Miami Marlins 5-0 at Marlins Park. The longball marred an otherwise effective outing by Trevor Richards, he gave up just three earned runs in six and a third innings, two of them being solo shots.
A day after Miami cranked out 11 hits, winning their first series of the year by a score of 9-3, Strasburg pitched eight innings of two-hit baseball, collecting his second win of the season. Had the Fish won, it would’ve been their first sweep of the year.
Career RBI No. 9⃣9⃣8⃣ for Ryan Zimmerman!
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 21, 2019
In the home half of the first, Brian Anderson safely reached base for his 10th straight game, hitting a two-out liner over to Juan Soto in left field. Neil Walker drew a walk and Anderson made it to third on a wild pitch but Starlin Castro popped out to end the inning.
After three scoreless frames, the Nats struck first with Ryan Zimmerman lifting the two-out payoff pitch high into left field for the solo dinger. In the bottom of the fourth, the Marlins had a runner on base but Miguel Rojas went down swinging, stranding Walker at second. Chad Wallach, meanwhile, lost his grip on the bat in the fifth inning, a high fly over by the Marlins dugout. Luckily it didn’t hit anyone. It sure scared the cameramen!
Richards ran into some trouble giving up two straight base hits to start the sixth. He recovered getting Soto to strike out but a wild pitch advanced the runners. This was ideal for the Nationals as Howie Kendrick went DEEP to center. Lewis Brinson turned on the afterburners and barely made the terrific catch as he raced to the wall. The runners tagged up but it saved the Marlins an extra run.
Richards got a little payback by striking out Zimmerman to limit the damage. Although he walked away clearly frustrated by the at-bat, Zimmerman later launched his second home run of the game, this time off Tyler Kinley in the ninth.
Keep in mind entering the game Zim was hitting below the Mendoza Line at .182. After the game his average went up to .203, finishing 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs.
Brian Anderson grounds out sharpely to third to end the sixth. Strasburg continues to keep Miami off the board. 2-0 Nationals heading into inning number 7. pic.twitter.com/WJLyXaCHxe
— Gabriel Garcia (@Gabewritesports) April 21, 2019
Unfortunately for Richards, he became the victim of another long ball, this time from Brian Dozier in the seventh, another solo shot to left. The Marlins just couldn’t get anything going with Stephen Strasburg pouring ice cold water on Miami’s hitting.
Washington would tack on two more runs in the final inning.
The Marlins have certainly enjoyed the holiday, they’re 9-7 all-time on Easter Sunday. Miami had a three-game winning streak going on (’14, ’17, ’18), in fact, the last time they lost prior to today was all the way back to 2012. They played the Cinncinati Reds. At the time the Fish were ahead 5-4 before Heath Bell blew the save, his first of eight on the season. Those were the days, eh?
Looking deeper, the team had a lot of success during the holiday, they won six straight home games on Easter Sunday. Their last home loss before today’s game was back in 2006. Coincidentally against the Washington Nationals. They lost 7-5.
11 of Miami’s 15 Easter Sunday games have been at home, rocking an 8-3 record heading into the rubber match of this weekend’s contest between division rivals. It wasn’t always this dominant.
Back when they were the Florida Marlins they dropped their first three Easter games in ’93, ’96 and ’98, since 2007 they’ve been 6-1. The Philadelphia Phillies are one of their common opponents for the holiday and remain undefeated at 3-0.
Miami has the day off tomorrow before hitting the road for six games against the Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies. They return home April 30th.