Here they go again.
The Marlins, who have developed a poor habit of getting off to slow starts, have staggered out of the blocks once more.
They lost again on Wednesday, this time a 3-1 decision to the Washington Nationals, and found themselves sitting on a 4-9 record barely two weeks into the season.
“Obviously you don’t want to dig yourself a deep hole like we have the last few years,” said the Marlins’ Christian Yelich. “But we can’t do anything about it now. Those games are done and over with. Can’t replay them. Just have to buckle down and turn it around as soon as we can so the hole’s not too deep.”
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The Marlins lineup sputtered for the second night in a row, squandering what was otherwise a solid outing by Wei-Yin Chen. Chen became the first Marlins starter this season to go at least seven innings.
But he received virtually no run support. The Marlins totaled only five hits off five Nationals pitchers, and never put a runner in scoring position. They had only five hits the day before.
“It’s tough to win games when you only score one run,” Yelich said. “It puts a lot of pressure on the pitching staff. Hopefully it comes around for us.”
Yelich has been one of the Marlins’ few bright spots with the bat so far. Yelich walked and had two hits Wednesday. He has reached base in all 13 games.
The rest of the lineup hasn’t done much.
Giancarlo Stanton struck out three times, including his final at bat when he went down looking to end the game.
Chen took the loss, but kept the Marlins in the game. His downfall (other than a lack of run support) was allowing the Nationals to score all three of their runs with two outs. And the only two walks he allowed ended up hurting him, as both ended up scoring.
“Those were mistakes,” Chen said of the walks to Anthony Rendon and Nationals starter Joe Ross, both of whom ended up scoring as a result. “I got ahead in the count but I couldn’t finish the hitter. So I should have done a better job.”
Ryan Zimmerman’s two-out double in the first started things, Bryce Harper’s two-out double in the third continued them, and Michael Taylor’s two-out homer in the fifth gave the Nationals a 3-0 jump on the Marlins.
“The location of that pitch wasn’t perfect,” Chen said of Taylor’s home run. “But it wasn’t that bad of a pitch.”
Taylor’s ball — like Zimmerman’s home run the previous night — would not have cleared the fence had the Marlins not moved them in before the season.
Ross started for the Nationals but came out after two innings because of a blister on his right middle finger. Yusmeiro Petit took his place, and the Marlins fared no better with him.
After getting shut out on Tuesday, the Marlins finally ended a 15-inning scoreless drought in the fifth on Derek Dietrich’s first homer.
But that was it.
The Marlins grounded into three double plays and never put a runner in scoring position.