Instant analysis: Nats-Marlins

Instant analysis: Nats-Marlins
April 21, 2012, 8:12 pm
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Game in a nutshell: Stephen Strasburg was his usual brilliant self, shutting the Marlins out over six fantastic innings. But Anibal Sanchez was equally effective against a Nationals lineup that was without Ryan Zimmerman or Adam LaRoche. Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth delivered a pair of late blasts to give the Nats a 2-0 lead, but Brad Lidge served up a game-tying homer to Logan Morrison in the ninth to blow the save. Thanks to a Gaby Sanchez error, Desmond had the opportunity to drive in the game-winner with a 10th-inning sacrifice fly.

Hitting highlight: Though he entered the day with a .309 batting average, Werth hadn't exactly been crushing the ball with authority. And after going 0-for-2 to start his afternoon, he found himself hitless in his last 10 at-bats. That was, until the bottom of the seventh, when Werth belted a 3-1 pitch from Sanchez down the left-field line and just over the fence for his first homer of the season.

Pitching highlight: You'd think by now the Marlins might have a little better idea how to handle Strasburg, since this was already the fifth time they've faced him in his young career. But familiarity did nothing to help Miami's chances. Strasburg was in control from the start and never let up, scattering four hits and a walk over six shutout innings. He also struck out six, five on curveballs that were once again sharp as ever.

Key stat: In nine total starts since he returned from Tommy John surgery, Stephen Strasburg has posted a 1.29 ERA, with a 0.82 WHIP and a 49-to-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Up next: Miami native Gio Gonzalez and Marlins ace Josh Johnson are scheduled to start tomorrow's 1:35 p.m. series finale, but Mother Nature may have something to say about that. A major storm could delay or even postpone the game.