MIAMI - Jim Riggleman decided to leave Jason Marquis in to pitch the beginning of the seventh, and almost immediately, that decision put him in a strategic box.
Donnie Murphy led off with a double to left on a Marquis sinker, putting the tying run in scoring position with none out. He got to third on Emilio Bonifacio’s sacrifice bunt, and at that point, Riggleman pulled Marquis for Tyler Clippard. Greg Dobbs lofted a fly to center on a Clippard changeup, and Rick Ankiel’s throw from center was just barely off-line, allowing the Marlins to tie the game.
I’ll be interested to hear the logic for leaving Marquis in to start the seventh after the game. The Nationals had what they wanted: a seventh-inning lead with a chance to go straight to their best three relievers (Clippard, Drew Storen and Sean Burnett). Maybe they wanted to have Clippard in reserve in case Storen or Burnett struggled, but that seems like overthinking it to me.
In any case, we’re tied at 2 to start the eighth, and the Nationals have left 11 men on base. That’s just one of the things they could end up paying for tonight.