Thursday's game was long and filled with frustration for Hernandez. The strike zone was very tight, at least for both pitchers in the first inning. Josh Johnson, pitching for the Marlins in his first start this season (normally a relief pitcher) was able to handle the tight strike zone slightly better than Herandez (the pitchers strike-out to walk ratio is reversed). Both pitchers lasted just five innings, Hernandez because he had given up 7 runs off of 91 pitches (52 strikes), Johnson because he is normally a relief pitcher (2 earned runs given up off of 69 pitches (45 strikes).
For the Marlins this was great series, as they finally won their first road series sweep, and scored 11 runs to the Nationals 3 on Thursday.
On Friday, Zach Day pitched against Oliver Perez to open the three-game series hosting the Pirates. Perez lasted just 4 innings and gave up 4 runs (80 pitches, 49 strikes), while Day saw his era lower from 10.65 down to 7.11 after pitching 7 4 hit shut-out innings (1 walk and 5 strike-outs on 105 pitches, 66 strikes). Rauch handled the 8th inning and kept the Pirates from scoring, and Rodriguez pitched the ninth and saw his era drop after keeping the Pirates from scoring.
Game Highlights: The Nationals have now won their second game at RFK this season and Zach Day won his first game for the Nationals this season (though he had won one game earlier for the Rockies; for the Rockies he was 1-2 with an ERA of 10.80 in 3 games started, and for the Nationals he is now 1-1 with an ERA of 3.00 in 2 games started, overall 2-3 for the year with an era of 7.11).
- Nick Johnson went 2 for 2 with those two hits being home-runs, knocking in 4 RBI, and also walking twice.
- Jose Vidro went 3 for 4 with 2 runs and 1 RBI.
- Church pinch ran for Marlon Anderson, who was hit by a pitch while pinch hitting for Zach Day. Church stole second.
- Attendance: 21,059
- Time: 2 hours and 43 minutes
Sat 05/06/06, 7:45 am EST