Found April 21, 2012 on The Nats Blog:
Gettyimageproxy.ashx_requesturl_http_3a_2f_2fcache.gettyimages.com_2fxc_2f89018138.jpg_3fv_3d1_26c_3dewsasset_26k_3d2_26d_3d17a4ad9fdb9cf193c810167040f6d6d04cc243a453ad1522

rick-ankiel-nationalsBehind the arm of Ross Detwiler and the bat of Rick Ankiel, the Washington Nationals gutted out a 2-0 victory last night over the Miami Marlins. The victory helped the club improve to 11-4 to stay 1.5 games ahead of the Atlanta Braves for first place in the NL East.

Detwiler earned his second win on the season with a stellar six inning, three hit performance in which he allowed no runs and struck out seven. The young lefty showed incredible consistency with his pinpoint fastball and his breakneck curve to systematically dismantle the Marlins recently revamped lineup. He threw just 79 pitches through six innings of work, but managed to allow just four base runners. The 25-year-old has now allowed just one earned run through 16 innings on the mound, good for a 0.56 ERA.

At the plate, Ankiel collected four of the Nationals three hits, and scored both of their runs on the night. He was just a triple away from hitting for the cycle.

Some Thoughts:

- While the win over a team like the Marlins feels great, the fact that the team only had five base runners the entire game is a little bit disconcerting, especially when you consider that four of those base runners were Rick Ankiel.

- To the Marlins' credit, Carlos Zambrano was pretty sharp for Miami on the night. The reformed former Chicabo Cubs ace struck out six, walked none, and allowed just two hits in seven innings of work. It's no question that when focused, Zambrano has the ability to be one of the best pitchers in National League. With a new chance with a new team, playing for a manager that he loves and he respects in Ozzie Guillen, it's clear that Zambrano is locked in and ready to produce. Through three starts he has a 2.84 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP.

- That being said, Washington is going to have to figure out how to hit Zambrano at some point as these two teams will likely be battling all summer long for position within the division. This is their first look at the new look Carlos, we'll have to see how they handle him next time.

- Ryan Zimmerman made one of the better diving stabs at third base that I've ever seen last night. Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton hit a bullet which 99 times out of 100 would have resulted in a hit between the 5/6 hole. Zimmerman snagged it on one hop with a full extension layout, and tossed Stanton out at first.

- It's worth noting that both Ian Desmond and Adam LaRoche's batting averages have now fallen below .300. The two batters carried the club early one by hitting well above their career norms, but as we pointed out, it wasn't a sustainable amount of success. As the two come back down to reality, someone else will absolutely have to step up in Washington's lineup. If they dont, the team has no chance.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Video: Ian Desmond's Walk-off sac fly

(Ian Desmond delivers. Video via AllStarsPlus.) Nationals 3, Marlins 2: Mr. Vertigo Brad Lidge blows Stephen Strasburg's win in the 9th - but Davey's sticking with him; Ian Desmond comes through with walk-off sac fly in the 10th. Meanwhile...No need to worry about Ryan Zimmerman's shoulder, right? *GULP* Befriend the Nats Enquirer on Facebook....

Miami tries to even series against Strasburg

The Washington Nationals are off to their best start in 31 years, thanks in large part to stunning success from their rotation. Giving the ball to Stephen Strasburg appears to be a good way to keep that prosperity going. Strasburg looks to win his third straight start as the Nationals try for another victory against the visiting Miami Marlins on Saturday. Washington (11-4)...

Jackson's shaky start dooms Nationals in 11-4 loss

Edwin Jackson's home debut for the Washington Nationals was about as good as it gets. His follow-up started nearly as bad as possible. The right-hander gave up five runs on six hits - three of them triples - to the Houston Astros in the opening inning. Reliever Tom Gorzelanny gave up another five runs in the sixth and the Astros cruised to a 11-4 win Thursday night. It was...

Nationals 3B Zimmerman late scratch against Miami

Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is a late scratch against the Miami Marlins because of mild right shoulder inflammation. Zimmerman had been listed as the starter Saturday when lineups were posted before the game. But when the players took the field, Mark DeRosa was at third base. The team said there was no structural damage and listed Zimmerman as day-to-day....

Nationals 3B Zimmerman expected to play Tuesday

Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman expects to play when the team opens a three-game road series against the San Diego Padres Tuesday.Zimmerman was a late scratch due to shoulder inflammation for Saturday’s game against the Miami Marlins and will have three full days off to rest after Sunday’s finale with Miami was postponed due to rain.Zimmerman is hitting .224...

Nationals Blow Strasburg's Lead, But Gut Out 3-2 Win

Despite a blown two-run lead in the top of the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins, the Washington Nationals were able to hold on to rally in the bottom of the 10th to earn their 12th win of the season. Wilson Ramos and Ian Desmond were the hero's in extra innings for the Nats. Ramos started things off with a leadoff single. An error on a potential double play ball allowed...

Rick Ankiel Featured on NPR's 'This American Life'

It’s our legal obligation to report on any Rick Ankiel related stories we come across on this site. By now you’ve seen the highlights of what he did earlier in the week. Dude has an absolute Howitzer attached to his arm. LINK HERE But you might not be aware that he was the subject of a story recently on the NPR show ‘This American Life’. We’ve embedded the story below...

Ump Greg Gibson takes 101 MPH Strasburg fastball to the groin

Umpire Greg Gibson took a 101 MPH fastball to the groin from Nationals fire baller Stephen Strasburg yesterday. Strasburg had thrown the pitch to Miami Marlin Greg Dobbs that deflected off catcher... Full story at Bob's Blitz ~ http://www.bobsblitz.com

GIFcap: Stephen Strasburg Throws Hard, Which Makes It Worse To Get Hit In The Nuts

This GIF has been made already, but this one isn’t annoyingly watermarked and it doesn’t cut off the before and after. So there’s that

Nationals 3, Marlins 2(10)

Ian Desmond hit a home run and had the game-winning sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to lift the Washington Nationals to a 3-2 win against the Florida Marlins on Saturday. Wilson Ramos singled to lead off the 10th inning, took third on a throwing error and scored on Desmond's fly as the Nationals improved to 12-4, continuing their best start since moving to Washington from Montreal...

Gorzelosing.

(Reading Steve McCatty's lips: "WTF, Tom!?" Screencap via MASN/TV) "Gorzo kind of had to take it on his chin." (Davey Johnson, via post game interview/MASN, 4/19/2012) Astros 1, Nationals 4: Edwin Jackson blows up in 5-run first, recovers after rough start. Zim hits first HR to make it a 1-run game. And then Tom Gorzelanny pretty much soaked...

Marlins, Nationals series finale rained out

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The final game of the series between the Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals has been rained out, with no makeup date announced. The Nationals won the first two games with late-inning comebacks, and will take their National League East-leading 12-4 record on a West Coast swing next week. They will play consecutive three-game series against the Padres and the...

Six unsung heroes of the NL East

In a star studded NL East, possibly the toughest division in baseball, some very valuable players slip through the cracks. Here are six players, honored for what they do and praised when they aren’t.   Washington Nationals P Tyler Clippard Laugh all you want at those silly glasses, they only mask his laser-like precision. He does not have anything overly flashy, but...

A Stroll over to the MLB Fan Cave

While in New York City this weekend, I and some friends got to visit the MLB Fan Cave at the corner of 4th Street and Broadway in the heart of Greenwich Village. Walking in the Fan Cave was pretty cool, and it was quite the decorative decor. We got to see the participants of this year's edition; however, we didn't get to interact with them at all, as they seemed to be on...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.