Is the Washington Nationals’ pitching that good, or is the Miami Marlins’ hitting that bad? The answer probably isn’t one extreme or the other, but reactionary Marlins’ fans likely are leaning toward the latter after watching their team fail to score for a second consecutive game. As they did on Opening Day, the Nationals stymied the Marlins, this time with a 3-0 victory in front of a chilled, but enthusiastic Nationals Park audience Wednesday night. Temperature at first pitch was 45 degrees. Starter Gio Gonzalez and three relievers held the Marlins to four hits, one less than they totaled on Monday. The 18-straight scoreless innings is a new franchise record to start the season, easily eclipsing the 13 in a row without a run to open 1996. The Marlins became the first team to lose back-to-back shutouts to open a season since the Padres in 2002, when the Diamondbacks blanked them behind Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. A team has now opened the season with back-to-back shutouts 13 times in major league history. “We’ve had some chances, but they made some good pitches and got out of some situations as well,” manager Mike Redmond said. “We’ve got a couple of guys maybe pressing a little bit, too. We’ll be fine. We’ve just got to continue to go out there and grinding it out.” They may have to grind without first baseman Casey Kotchman. In the fifth he suffered a strained left hamstring running out a 1-6-3 double play. He is day-to-day. “He grabbed that thing right away and went down and heap,” Redmond said. “We’ll see. Those things are typically pretty sore the next day. Hopefully it’s not bad.” The Marlins already have a pair of first baseman on the disabled list in Logan Morrison and Joe Mahoney. If they need put Kotchman on the disabled list they could select Kevin Kouzmanoff, but that would require clearing another spot on the 40-man roster. Infield coach Perry Hill during spring training began teaching utility infielder Chris Valaika the position.
Two losses, 18 zeros for Marlins; Kotchman hurt
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Apr 4