Nationals’ Record 2-1
WP- Phelps (1-0) LP Roark (0-1) SV- Ramos (1)
HR- Harper WAS (2)
STARS OF THE GAME
Third Star- If the Nationals published a dictionary of phrases, a picture of Miami’s Martin Prado would likely be displayed alongside “thorn in the side”. Prado was 2 for 5 with two RBI on the game, moving his lifetime batting average against Washington to .311. For players with 300 or more plate appearances, only Freddie Freeman (.333 with 352 PA), Hanley Ramirez (.333 with 562 PA) and Prado’s teammate Giancarlo Stanton (.317 with 302 PA) have hit better against the Nats.
Second Star- Marlins’ shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria starred both with the bat and the glove, driving in two runs (including the go-ahead run) with two hits and making several sparkling defensive plays to help Miami to its first win of the year. Hechavarria’s third inning single off of Tanner Roark put Miami in the lead for good at 4-3, and his seventh inning double off of Matt Belisle padded the visitor’s advantage to 6-3.
Star of the Game- Reliever David Phelps’s four innings of shutout work earned him the win, and he helped his own cause with a RBI single to put the Marlins up 5-3. Phelps’ run batted in was the first of his career.
Unsung Hero- Fairfax County, Virginia native Justin Bour has always hit well at Nationals Park, posting a robust .972 OPS there in 53 at bats. On Thursday, Bour had two doubles and scored two runs in Miami’s win.
Gallant in Defeat- Bryce Harper received recognition for winning the National League MVP before the game, and showed during the contest that he will be a candidate for the award again in 2016. Harper hit a mammoth home run off of Miami’s Bryan Morris to pull Washington within two runs of the Marlins in the eighth, and walked two more times on the game to give him a .500 on base percentage in the first three games of the season. Harper’s home run was the 99th of his career, 17 of which have come against Miami. That figure is the most the Nats’ rightfielder has against any opponent.
Daniel Murphy’s three run triple in the Nats’ first inning marked the first time Washington has had a bases clearing three bagger since Harper did so against San Diego at Nationals Park on April 25, 2014. Only eight players have hit three run triples for the Nats. Besides Murphy and Harper, Steve Lombardozzi (7/26/12 at Milwaukee), Danny Espinosa (4/17/11 v.s. Milwaukee), Roger Bernadina (5/23/10 v.s. Baltimore), Elijah Dukes (8/15/09 at the Chicago Cubs), Felipe Lopez (6/13/2007 at Baltimore) and Termelle Sledge (4/13/05 at Atlanta) have done so.
Tanner Roark gave up nine hits in four innings of work, marking the seventh time he has surrendered at least nine hits in a game. Not surprisingly, Roark is 0-6 in those contests. The Nats’ righty did not give up an extra base hit in the contest, marking the 10th time he’s done that as a starting pitcher. Yesterday’s loss was Roark’s first in eight decisions those games.
2015 rookie sensation Joe Ross makes the start for the Nats on Saturday against Miami’s Tom Koehler.