Thing 1:Make it two straight saves for Heath Bell against the first-place Nationals this week after a rough patch over the weekend against the Giants.

It took the Marlins closer just 12 pitches (only two balls) to record his second straight clean ninth in Tuesday night's 3-1 win, and the difference was striking.

"Last couple of days, he's thrown the ball well, he's throwing strikes," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "His velocity went up and he's doing what he's supposed to be doing."

Indeed, Bell's fastball sat at 95-96 mph (according to the Marlins Park radar gun) in Tuesday's outing. That's up a tick or two from the 93-94 mph he had been operating at.

And the only breaking ball I noticed was a 1-1 changeup to lefty Adam LaRoche, who took it for a strike leading off the ninth.

Ozzie had to like that part too.