Crowe, bullpen struggle as Nats fall 14-3 in nightcap (updated)

The nightcap of today’s twi-night doubleheader was no fun for Wil Crowe and the bullpen as the Marlins jumped on the Nationals for six runs in the first three frames and cruised to a 14-3 victory at Marlins Park.

Brian Anderson went 3-for-4 with a career-high three homers and seven RBIs. Corey Dickerson went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs. The Marlins put together three four-run innings in the rout.

The win allowed Miami to snap a two-game skid and split the twinbill. The Nats won the opener 5-0.

“The walks just hurt us,” said manager Davey Martinez during the postgame Zoom video session. “We gave them extra outs. We should’ve made some plays so the second game wasn’t as clean. But the first game was really well. (Erick) Fedde threw the ball really well.”

Crowe-Throws-Gray-Sidebar.jpgCrowe struggled finding the strike zone in the third, and Kyle McGowin could not slow the Marlins rally. The loss was the Nats’ 30th of the season. Crowe ended up allowing six runs in just 2 1/3 innings.

Dickerson got the Marlins on the board with a solo shot in the bottom of the first. Then Anderson quickly tied it up with a solo homer of his own in the second.

In the third, two more singles and a walk loaded the bases for Jesús Aguilar. Crowe walked him on four pitches, plating Dickerson, and the Marlins led 3-2. McGowin replaced Crowe.

“I get into a habit of getting too quick,” Crowe said. “I do it in the windup and in the stretch and I’ve been working on it for the last two weeks. You saw in Atlanta and it was really bad. The last 10 days, I have been really hammering it, full three bullpens, every day I’m working flat ground, feeling pretty good. In the second, you could see I felt like I got into a good groove and it kind of spiraled on me.

“It’s something I’m working on. I’m almost there. I can feel it about to click, it’s just one of those things. When it happens, it happens quick, and when you are trying to get these guys out, it’s hard when you are searching for things out there.”

Miguel Rojas’ dribbler in front of home plate was handled by McGowin but his scoop to catcher Kurt Suzuki was slow and then bobbled. Starling Marte scored to make 4-2. Lewis Brinson’s two-run single to left gave the Marlins a 6-2 lead.

James Bourque allowed a three-run shot to Anderson in the fifth to put the Marlins up 9-3. Dickerson added another RBI with a single later in the inning against Ryne Harper and it was 10-3.

Aaron Barrett lasted two batters in the bottom of the sixth after having issues with the mound landing area. The grounds crew fixed the spot, but Barrett hit a batter and then walked Aguilar. He appeared to shake his arm after the hit by pitch. Martinez came out with the trainer and talked to him and Barrett left the game. The skipper said Barrett had tightness in his triceps so they sat him down for precautionary reasons.

Brock Holt came on to pitch for the first time in a major league game. Holt allowed four hits and two runs, but recorded three outs. The Marlins scored four runs in the inning. But that did not faze Holt.

Even though he was throwing fastballs, and recorded strikes on 16 of his 21 pitches, the scoreboard was registering them as curveballs because of their low velocity. He talked afterward about Martinez asking him to come in the game as a pitcher. In his career, Holt has now played every position on the field except catcher.

“It was just kind of quick,” Holt said. “He came up to me and asked if I’d be willing to pitch if things got out of hand and I said yes. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, just never really had the opportunity. Unfortunately, not a situation you want to be in but it’s kind of cool as a position player.”

The Nats got off to a fast start against Marlins left-hander Daniel Castano.

Trea Turner and Juan Soto started the rally with back-to-back singles to begin the game. Suzuki’s sacrifice fly to left field scored Turner later in the frame for a 1-0 lead. Josh Harrison added an RBI single and the Nats led 2-0 after the top of the first.

Soto added an RBI single in the top of the fifth. With two men in scoring position, Suzuki was called out on a third strike that appeared outside the zone.

Luis García replaced Turner in the bottom of the sixth after it appeared the shortstop came up lame on a grounder that was called a fielding error. But Martinez said Turner was not hurt on the play and that he just wanted to “get him off his feet” at the end of the game.

Harrison talked about how the Nats tried to come back despite the game getting out of hand: “You just got to keep playing. Baseball doesn’t have a shot clock. They still got to make all the outs. But you play this game long enough you are going to be on both ends of games like this, on winning side, losing side. One thing they always tell us, play to the last out, don’t give away any at-bats, even in the field, make the plays that you can.”

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