Giancarlo Stanton kills the Nationals. Just kills them.
He might not kill them like Andrew McCutchen kills them. But Stanton still kills them.
You get the idea.
The Marlins’ right fielder absolutely obliterated a 2-2 slider from Ryan Mattheus to dead center leading off the sixth, tying the game 2-2. It was Stanton’s 17th homer in 47 career games against the Nats.
The ball was just crushed, on a line, and if not for a wall about 30 feet beyond the center field fence, that one still might be going. Must have come down about 430 feet from home plate, and it was a laser beam.
Mattheus’ first outing back from Triple-A Syracuse didn’t get much better from there, as he then allowed hits to three of the next four batters he faced, bringing in another Marlins run to give them a 3-2 lead.
No matter. Jayson Werth led off the bottom of the sixth by countering Stanton’s massive blast with one of his own, one that came down in nearly the exact same spot as Stanton’s.
Werth’s bomb off Arquimedes Euclides Caminero - yes, that’s actually the dude’s real name - had a higher trajectory than Stanton’s but it traveled just as far and counted just as much on the scoreboard.
Arquimedes Euclides Caminero (you better believe I’m using his real name every time I refer to him) then did well to get out of a runners-at-the-corners jam by retiring Chad Tracy for the final out of the sixth. Nice work there by Arquimedes Euclides Caminero.
It’s now 3-3 going to the seventh.
Arquimedes Euclides Caminero.
Update: It sure seems like every time a team intentionally walks the batter in front of Ian Desmond, Desmond gets revenge.
That’s what happened in the seventh tonight, when the Marlins had Jeff Mathis put up four fingers, instructing Mike Dunn to give Jayson Werth an intentional pass with a runner on second and two outs. Desmond then crushed the first pitch he saw from Dunn into left field for a go-ahead single. Denard Span came around from second to make it 4-3 Nats.
Can’t really blame the Marlins for giving Werth the intentional pass, given how insanely hot he’s been the last couple months. But Desmond made them pay for that decision, and the Nats now lead again as Tyler Clippard comes on to work the eighth.
Update II: Clippard worked a perfect eighth and Rafael Soriano locked down his 35th save of the season, this one in a 1-2-3 fashion, to close out a 4-3 Nats win.
The Nats have now won 13 of their last 18 and guaranteed themselves a series win over the Marlins. The Reds crushed the Cardinals tonight, so the Nationals’ deficit in the wild card race remains seven.