Posted by Wally Londo on 5th August 2009
Josh Johnson matched a career high with nine strikeouts and hit a home run, but he was unable to record his 11th victory of the season after struggling in the eighth inning.
The Nationals batted around and scored six runs in that frame to erase a four-run deficit and claim a 6-4 win over the Marlins on Tuesday night at Nationals Park. Adam Dunn poked a two-run home run to the opposite field for the go-ahead runs.
Johnson cruised through the first seven innings, retiring 20 straight batters after giving up a pair of early singles. With a 4-0 lead to start the eighth, he immediately ran into trouble. Johnson yielded three straight singles, and pinch-hitter Ronnie Belliard doubled to score two runs and knock Johnson out of the game.
Nyjer Morgan hit an RBI groundout off lefty Renyel Pinto, cutting the lead to 4-3. Against Kiki Calero, Cristian Guzman followed with a game-tying RBI single past a diving Nick Johnson at first base. Then Dunn struck on a 3-2 pitch from Dan Meyer.
Before Tuesday, the Marlins had won 10 straight games against the Nationals.
Johnson’s homer in the fourth inning — his third this season — tied Dontrelle Willis (2006) and Alex Fernandez (1999) for most home runs in a season by a Marlins pitcher.
Two batters before Johnson, Cody Ross banged his 18th home run of the season.
Man, that’s a tough loss. JJ was cruising after allowing two hits in the first. He retired the next 20 he faced and looked overpowering and well on his way to another CCHOTGA as he also hit his 3rd home of the season.
But then came the 8th, and the wheels came off. This one was a collective loss, as everybody that pitched in the 8th had a hand in the loss, so you can’t blame any one pitcher.
However, Jeremy Hermida did have 9 LOB in the game, including bailing out MacDougal in the 9th when he couldnt’ throw a strike to save his life, and ended the game on a double play, so he’s the obvious recipient of the Scott Olsen Memorial Mugshot Award tonight.
Maybe he needs to bring the beard back. It worked for me. Nothing like a slumpbuster beard.
Not defending him in this game, but overall this season he pretty much can only hit with runners on. He had a terrible game, but he’s hit .287/.372/.433/.805 with men on compared to .232/.316/.355/.670 with the bases empty. Yeah, he’s the reason we lost tonight, but he’s been pretty OK with men on. Just sucks that he had to be the goat tonight, because the team really struggled with runners on today.
I’ve defended Hermida since he came up with the team, as his apparently lackadaisical playing style and sometimes terrible defense really gets on his skin, but after 3 straight terrible months from May to now, I’m ready to give up on him. You’re telling me Brett Carroll couldn’t give you the .700 OPS Hermida has? And the defense would be absolutely unquestionably better. I would’ve liked to have seen Hermida moved at the deadline just to get a warm body for him. Have to just hope he can give you something these next two months, but it really doesn’t look good.