Yesterday's 9-4 win in 11 innings over Arizona is certainly one to remember for awhile. Between the hit batters, the ejections, the blown lead and the Michael Morse grand slam, there was plenty of fodder for the talk shows and the chat boards.
As for the ejections, I can only surmise that home plate umpire Rob Drake was so focused on balls and strikes that he paid no actual attention to the game itself. A one-run lead, and a runner on first base is not really the ideal time to whack the hitter at the plate. And, for consistency's sake, wouldn't it have made sense to eject Ian Kennedy after he'd hit Morse the previous inning after both benches were warned? Obviously, Drake's spidey-sense had told him that was an accident.
Speaking of Jason Marquis, he was working on another solid effort, even though it appeared he was having trouble commanding his fastball at times. He ends up with another no-decision after the D-Backs tied it up in the ninth inning, but could be on his way to one of his better seasons in terms of W's and L's. At 6-2 he's got around 20 starts left this year, more than enough to match or exceed his career high of 15 wins.
Marquis' success also gives the Nationals a decision to make and likely very soon: Do they attempt to re-sign the righty to another two-year contract? With Strasburg set to be back next year, and the continuing development of Jordan Zimmermann, how long do they want to commit to Marquis, who turns 33 in August? There will certainly be interest in Jason at the trading deadline, though his role in this year's rotation seems more important than ever at the moment.
One other note: speaking to a scout who watched Ryan Zimmerman at Hagerstown yesterday, the hitting stroke is there now (he doubled and tripled with a walk in three plate appearances), and he showed no discomfort after sliding into third. The scout was not impressed, however, by the one throw Zim made on a groundball to his left. "From his set to his arm angle, I've never seen him throw like that," he said. "He got the out, but I've seen him play since college, and I've never seen him throw like that."
Zimmerman's re-activation from the DL may come more sooner than later, and there's no question that his absence has had more negative impact on Washington's W-L record than any other single factor.