Mike Redmond sounded like the captain of a boat with engine failure grateful that he wasn't taking on water. "Our pitching has been great. We've been in every single game except maybe one. That's all you can ask," the Miami Marlins manager said of his hitting-challenged team before Monday's opener of a three-game series with Washington. That silver lining washed away in a flood of four first-inning runs off Wade LeBlanc by the Nationals on their way to a 10-3 drubbing of the foundering Marlins at Marlins Park. Considering the Marlins scored four runs in three weekend games with the Phillies, their 11th loss in 13 games was all but ensured by that early onslaught. They have lost all four encounters with the Nationals. Marlins starters came into the series with an ERA of 2.78, fifth-best in the major leagues. But LeBlanc's early struggle fit an emerging pattern. All four of the earned runs he allowed in his first two starts were in the first inning, during which opponents were batting .500 against him. The Nationals did better than that with five first-inning hits, including two-run singles by Ryan Zimmerman and Tyler Moore. LeBlanc seemed to be settling in as he retired seven in a row, but consecutive two-out doubles in the third inning by Ian Desmond, Steve Lombardozzi and Moore pushed it to 6-0. Fortunes didn't improve for Miami when LeBlanc departed an inning later, as Zimmerman sent reliever John Maine's first pitch into the Clevelander restaurant for a two-run homer. Seven of the runs were charged to LeBlanc (0-3) in 3 2/3 innings. "Something's gonna change. We're going to figure out how to get through that first inning unscathed and give these guys a chance. That's priority No. 1 at this point," LeBlanc said.
Nationals pound punchless Marlins
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Apr 16