The Nationals bats had a hard time solving Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez as they fell 5-1 on Sunday afternoon at Nats Park. Both Miami and Washington split the four-game weekend series at two games apiece.
Fernandez went seven innings allowing one run on four hits with 11 strikeouts. Six of his last seven batters that he faced resulted in strikeouts.
“When (Fernandez is healthy, he is among the league leaders in strikeouts,” said Nats manager Dusty Baker. “You know he is going to have some strikeouts. It’s just that when you get a pitch to hit, you can’t really miss it because he is not going to give you a whole bunch to hit.”
Washington scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth with an inside the park home run by Ryan Zimmerman. It happened with a collision between outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna. It was a big break but it wasn’t enough. The Nats bats were silent much of the afternoon. Zimmerman, Clint Robinson, and Wilson Ramos all struck out twice. Ben Revere, Anthony Rendon, and Brycer Harper all went hitless.
The Nats now have an off day on Monday before heading to Citi Field for a big series against the Mets. It is their first meeting of the 2016 season after the Mets dominated the Nationals in the second half of the season last year leading up to their division crown and eventual trip to the World Series where they fell short of the prize. This is a big test for the Nationals. The first game features quite the pitching matchup as Max Scherzer goes up against Noah Syndergaard. Scherzer is coming off his 20-strikeout game from last Wednesday. First pitch from New York is at 7:10.