The Nats needed to win this game, and they did it via two home runs by Trea Turner and a 3-run bomb from Asdrubal Cabrera to outscore the Marlins by a final score of 6-4. The Nats bullpen had to cover 4.0 innings, and they did not put up an earned run after Anibal Sanchez exited with the tying run standing at the plate. The Nationals have now beat the Marlins in 10 straight games. By winning today, the Nats kept their distance ahead of the Brewers by 1.0 game in the Wild Card race and 3.0 full games ahead of the Cubs who are now on the outside looking in.
For the Nats, they won this game with no hits from Adam Eaton, Anthony Rendon, and Juan Soto. In this game, Rendon went 0-4 with weak contact, and he is now mired in a 1-13 funk since his home run in the sixth inning on Monday. Soto has not had a hit since Tuesday. This is where Turner, Cabrera, Howie Kendrick, and Victor Robles got it done for their team. In fact Turner, Kendrick and Cabrera each had two hits in this game.
This Asdrubal Cabrera kid is an enigma. The almost 34-year-old was cut loose from the Texas Rangers on August 3rd after they could not make a deal at the trade deadline. Cabrera was batting .235 and only played 3rd base for the Rangers. The Nats saw Cabrera as a potential complementary lefty bat to Brian Dozier who struggled against RH pitching. The Nats picked up the switch-hitter for the league minimum money and had a remarriage with his old hitting coach Kevin Long. With a couple of tweaks, Long got him back to his 2016 form that was successful when Cabrera was with the Mets. But nobody expected 34 RBIs in 30 games with the club and a .409 batting average with runners in scoring position.
The bullpen got another six out save from Daniel Hudson, and he did it with 28 pitches. Fernando Rodney had a clean seventh inning, and it was Tanner Rainey who had a key ROOGY appearance where he struck out pinch-hitter Harold Ramirez on three pitches with two runners on-base.
“Just a good night for the team,” manager Dave Martinez said. “I tell the guys this game is about having fun. I enjoy every minute of it. … They have a good time. They love playing the game, and playing for each other which is nice.”
Manager Dave Martinez rejoined the team after his medical issue last weekend, and he was all smiles after his team’s 84th win.