Jesse Winker hits first grand slam for Nationals in win over Marlins

Jesse Winker Nationals Marlins

Miami, Florida – Jesse Winker ensured Miami’s woes continued hitting the Nationals’ first grand slam of 2024 as part of the 11-4 throttling over the Marlins. It was Winker’s fourth in his career. The 30-year-old left fielder mashed dinger number three (so far) of the year as part of a 2-for-5 day knocking in four runs and scoring once.

Edward Cabrera was largely cruising until the fifth when the Nats rocked him for five runs. The Marlins starter tossed four and a third, allowing six runs (five earned) on four hits striking out four. The afternoon saw a sloppy performance on defense and disappointing hitting at the plate. The Fish committed three errors with two coming from the catcher Christian Bethancourt. Miami was 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position stranding nine.

He did what?!

Miami got on the board first pouncing on Mitchell Parker’s bases-loaded wild pitch. Tim Anderson was at the plate when Parker threw it too high over the catcher. Luis Arraez sped his way home for the early lead. The advantage was brief. Washington tied it up in a similar manner. Jacob Young singled with one out stealing second and then moving to third on a ground-out by CJ Abrams. Bethancourt seemed unready for the pitch, charged with a passed ball as the runner scored.

Things got worse for the Fish in the fifth. A base hit and a walk put Cabrera in a jam. Although Cabrera made a great heads-up play on Nick Senzel’s bunt for the force out at third, the situation worsened on a perplexing throwing error from Bethancourt moving up the runners in scoring position. Afterward, Young hit a grounder leading to a play at home plate as the catcher missed the tag. Eddie Rosario slipped under his glove and the call was upheld.

Bethancourt’s troubles were the least of Miami’s worries. Winker launched a grand slam to right field ending Cabrera’s day. Washington added another in the sixth. Vidal Bruján was charged with a throwing error on the Winker single allowing Young to sneak around third motoring his way across the plate making it 7-1 Nats. The NL East rivals kept up the scoring with three in the seventh and another in the ninth putting the exclamation point on a very productive afternoon. Miami showed life with an RBI single from Bethancourt and pinch-hitter Otto Lopez’s first career home run dropping deuces but it was way too late to make a difference.

Impressions

Yikes. Whatever liking the fans had left for Bethancourt evaporated under a series of defensive mistakes. And this is if you’re completely ignoring how the Nationals owned the base paths. Not to mention he’s hitting (recorded his first hit today) .033 for the season. At 6-22, my previous article rings true as ever.

You can tell the team checked out by the seventh. Is this rock bottom? I’m afraid to say yes because as the broadcast put it, the Fish keep frying themselves. Miami finds new ways to lose and I can’t remember the last time the defense was this bad. It wasn’t just Bethancourt. Brujan, Anderson, and Jesus Sanchez share the blame from messing up throws to failing get a glove on the ball. If there was one positive, it was Lopez’s first-ever home run in the bigs.

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