The Nationals will not play an entire season without allowing a run.
The Marlins will not go the whole year without having a runner touch home plate.
The dreams are dead.
After pitching a scoreless first inning this afternoon, Nats starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed a leadoff homer to Miami center fielder Justin Ruggiano, ending the Nationals’ streak of consecutive scoreless innings to begin the season at 19.
Stephen Strasburg, Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano combined for a shutout on opening day. Gio Gonzalez, Ryan Mattheus, Drew Storen and Soriano did the same last night.
But the Marlins finally got on the board in the third game of the season, with Ruggiano’s homer barely clearing the right-center field wall above the scoreboard.
That homer came a half-inning after the Nationals took a 2-0 lead when Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman strung together three straight hits to bring in two runs.
With one out in the first, Werth singled to left, Harper singled to right and then Zimmerman crushed a ball off the wall in center. Werth came around to score easily, but third base coach Trent Jewett waved Harper around, as well, and it resulted in a scary collision at home plate.
Harper slid in safely as the ball got past catcher Rob Brantly, but Harper took some punishment, catching a Brantly elbow in the face. He stayed down for a couple seconds, clutching at his face before getting to his feet and walking back to the dugout.
Harper was shown on the MASN broadcast sitting on the bench next to Dan Haren. Haren was laughing, and it appears that Harper will be OK. He’ll remain in the game, but he might need some aspirin later.
It’s 2-1 Nats here in the second.
Update: Zimmermann wasn’t at his sharpest today, but you can lack your best stuff and still get by when you’re playing this Marlins team.
Over six innings, Zimmermann allowed one run on eight hits (which is the most he allowed all of last season), with two walks and one strikeout. Zimmerman threw 89 pitches in his 2013 debut, 60 for strikes.
The Nats gave Zimmmerman another run to work with in the third when Bryce Harper brought in Denard Span with an RBI single to right.
It’s a 3-1 Nats lead after six innings, with Henry Rodriguez coming in to work the seventh. Let’s see what the flame-throwing right-hander has for us today.