Ricky Nolasco pitched great outside of two pitches to Bryce Harper but that was enough as the Miami Marlins fell to the Washington Nationals 2-0 on Opening Day in Washington D.C.. The first of the longballs came in the first inning on a hanging curveball and the Nationals never looked back. Stephen Strasburg and the Nats bullpen quieted Miami’s offense and kept them from even putting together a rally at any point during the contest. This is the first time the Marlins have been shut out on Opening Day since 2006 against the Houston Astros.
Nolasco went six solid innings in which he gave up two runs on three hits, both of those runs coming off the aforementioned bat of Harper. The Marlins’ ace struck out five and walked two while flashing several nasty off-speed pitches in the game. Nolasco had his 12-6 curveball working as he fooled Nationals’ hitters including Ryan Zimmerman who struck out three times. It continued a string of success for Nolasco against the Nationals but ultimately due to the lack of offense, he was tagged with the loss to fall to 0-1 on the year. Chad Qualls and Mike Dunn worked a quiet seventh and eighth to round out the pitching side of things for Miami.
Offensively, there’s not much to be said about the Marlins on Monday as they only managed three hits and had a string of 19 straight outs against Strasburg at one point. Stanton stopped that streak with a double, his first of the young season but he couldn’t come home to score due to a baserunning blunder by Placido Polanco who was 1-3 himself. In the ninth, Rafael soriano struck Stanton out looking with a fastball down the middle to add to what was already a frustrating day for the Marlins’ offense.
It doesn’t get easier for Miami as they are set to face Gio Gonzalez on Wednesday. The fish will send Kevin Slowey to the mound against Gonzalez in what could be another quiet day for the Marlins’ bats.