While the Washington Nationals said a recent argument between
manager Davey Johnson and general manager Mike Rizzo was nothing
more than “business as usual,” there’s no denying that the team is
Looking to avoid a season-high sixth straight loss, the
Nationals finish a two-game set with the Miami Marlins on Wednesday
Before suffering a 9-0 defeat to Miami on Tuesday, Washington’s
front office tried to diffuse talk about a heated argument between
Johnson and Rizzo.
Johnson was heard shouting at Rizzo in the clubhouse Sunday
after the Nationals (77-51) were swept by Philadelphia.
“Davey and I talk after every game,” Rizzo said. “We talk about
the goods and the bads of each and every game, and this was just
probably I was a little too emotional. We’re both pretty
passionate, and I was a little frustrated. I probably could have
tabled it until the next morning, but I didn’t.”
Washington’s struggles may not be solved as easily as the spat.
The club has been outscored 26-6 during its skid, with the latest
loss coming with ace Stephen Strasburg on the mound.
Strasburg, who is facing a controversial shutdown before a
possible playoff berth, allowed a career-high seven runs – five
earned – and nine hits over five innings to take the loss
Even the returns of Ian Desmond and Michael Morse couldn’t help
Washington. Both of those players went hitless and the Nationals
mustered five total hits off Florida starter Ricky Nolasco, who
earned the shutout while striking out six.
The Nationals, who still lead own a healthy lead atop the NL
East, are hitting .212 during their losing streak, which matches
their longest of the season. They haven’t dropped six in a row
since Aug. 23-28, 2011.
“We’ve played really good 90 percent of the year,” Johnson
said. “We’re in a rough spot here. That makes the metal hotter. The
tougher it gets, the stronger you get, so we’ll be fine.”
As Washington tries to snap its skid Wednesday, Miami (59-71)
will be looking to win three straight for the first time since July
Justin Ruggiano homered and finished 4 for 4 Tuesday while
Giancarlo Stanton had three hits and drove in three runs.
The Marlins will try to finally push a run across against Ross
Detwiler (7-6, 3.25 ERA), who takes the mound Wednesday for the
Detwiler hasn’t allowed a run in 12 career innings against
Miami, including a six-inning start April 20. He limited the
Marlins to three hits and struck out seven in that outing while
earning a 2-0 victory.
The left-hander has dropped two of his last three starts
overall. He allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings of a
5-1 loss to Atlanta last Wednesday.
Miami counters with Jacob Turner (0-1, 4.50), who was modestly
effective in a losing cause in his first start with the Marlins
last Wednesday, allowing three runs and four hits over six innings
of a 3-2 defeat at Arizona.
“He was relaxed on the mound, very nice and loose,” manager
Ozzie Guillen said of Turner, whom the Marlins acquired in the
trade that sent Anibal Sanchez to Detroit. “He was throwing a lot
of strikes. He made one bad pitch but I like what I see.”
The Marlins are 6-2 at home against the Nationals this year.