Chien-Ming Wang pitched 6 2/3 innings this afternoon, making his longest start since June 10, 2008. But had it ended a batter earlier, the Nationals' lead might still be three runs instead of one.
Wang stayed in after allowing a single to Bryan Petersen, and got Donnie Murphy to fly out to center. But he grooved a sinker to Brett Hayes, who hit it out to left for a two-run homer. That ended Wang's day, and the Marlins pulled within a run of the Nationals in the seventh.
The right-hander threw 93 pitches, 60 of them strikes, and had a solid day overall. Manager Davey Johnson likes pitchers to get out of their own jams, and Wang had certainly pitched well enough through the first six innings to give Johnson the sense that he could get out of this one. But he hadn't pitched that deep into a game in more than three years, and he made a bad pitch at a bad time.
Still, the Nationals have the game within reach of their top two relievers, and Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen can help them avoid a sweep today.