Don't have too many great insights on tonight's game - I was busy chatting with fans at the first MASNSports.com get-together at Crystal City Sports Pub, and I'm just getting home now, in fact. I had a great time getting to know some of you and talking Nats with you. Hope you enjoyed it as well, and we'll do it again soon. For those of you who suggested story ideas to me - and there were some good ones - can you do me a favor and e-mail them to me? I want to make sure I've got them all written down and that I don't forget any of them. You can reach me at email@example.com.
As for the game, the 7-1 loss to the Marlins was one of the sloppier games we've seen the Nats play in some time. They made two errors, and it could have been three (the ball Adam Dunn had go off his glove at first base wasn't ruled an error). In the Marlins' Chris Volstad, they ran into a starter who was rolling, and tonight was one of the Nationals' least competitive games of the year.
But the bright side is, neither Ivan Rodriguez or Ryan Zimmerman is hurt; Rodriguez was down for a while after colliding with Cody Ross at home plate, and Zimmerman looked like he was running off a cramp in his hamstring after trying to beat out a ground ball. But both players stayed in the game, and seem to be healthy enough.
The key for the Nationals in tomorrow's series finale is how they rebound from a sloppy game. They've been good about isolating mistakes this year, but tonight was one of their worst defensive performances of the year, with Nyjer Morgan airmailing home plate on a throw that could have been cut off by Adam Dunn and wasn't backed up well by Craig Stammen, and Cristian Guzman missing an easy grounder at short. They'll have to be sharper tomorrow against Marlins ace Josh Johnson, who isn't likely to give them much and could get all he needs with a couple mistakes by the Nationals. John Lannan is on the mound for Washington.
The in-game thread is back tomorrow after a two-day hiatus, so check back here around game time (1:10 p.m.) to discuss it online.