Though the Nationals managed to come within one run, they couldn't prevent the Marlins from completing the sweep on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park. The loss concludes the season series with Florida who went 13-5 against the Nationals in 2010 and took 10 of the final 11 games between the two teams.
In the game, starter Jordan Zimmermann struggled with his pitch count and exited after the 3rd inning having already thrown 80 pitches. During that time, Zimmermann walked three, struck out one and gave up two home runs to Marlins rookie Mike Stanton. Zimmermann's own error, an errant pick-off throw to second that sailed into center field, allowed an unearned run to score.
"[I was] getting too deep in counts, a lot of full counts, a lot of foul balls. I got myself in trouble and it's going to add up quickly," Zimmermann said after the game. "My command was terrible. I'd get ahead of guys and then I'd nibble too much on the corners."
Zimmermann admitted that his slider was "a little flat," and that he's still trying to get a little more tilting action on that pitch.
"He was not locating his pitches as well as he's capable of doing and they've got a good ballclub. You don't pitch good, they're going to get you," Riggleman said.
Nationals hitters seemed comfortable handling Chris Voldstad's tough sinker, a pitch which caused them problems earlier this season. Voldstad was 4-0 against the Nationals before today, though he's had less success in his final three starts against the Nats. On Sunday, the Nationals managed to scatter five runs over five innings and to knock him out during the fifth inning.
Despite that, the bats fell silent in the final innings. Both teams' relief corps pitched well and the Marlins held on to their close 6-5 lead.