"But what these Nationals are doing is so different from a year ago, it almost defies explanation. They don't shrink in close games; they embrace them. They do little things right instead of doing big things wrong. And a team that ranked last in the National League in most pitching and defense categories last season is winning most of its games with those two things this year....The Nationals did that again on Sunday, beating the Florida Marlins 3-2. Few glaring mistakes were made. No run was wasted, and when they came to a pivotal moment against their recent tormentors, the Nationals used a former Marlin to break Florida the same way they did on Saturday; Josh Willingham's solo homer off Clay Hensley landed in the Marlins' bullpen in the eighth inning, putting Washington ahead for good."
"Livan Hernandez was rolling through the first 5.0 scoreless when Hanley Ramirez came up to bat in the Marlins' sixth. Hanley, who'd been held to 1 hit through the first two games of this series finally comes through with a HR to right and just over the out-of-town scoreboard to start the Marlins' sixth. 2-1 Nats. Livan's ERA is finally above 1.00 at 1.07. Ramirez now 2 for 10 (after 3 AB's today) after he was 6 for 14 with 3 HR's and 7 RBI's in the last series with the Fish."
"Hernández allowed one run in seven innings, and his ERA actually went up, to 1.04, second in the majors. Capps earned his league-leading 13th save. Tyler Clippard won his sixth game, moving into a tie for the league lead and becoming the seventh relief pitcher in the modern era to claim six wins in his team's first 31 games."
"With the game tied up in the bottom of the eighth, Josh Willingham was once again the hero when he hit the go ahead home run in the eighth inning off of Clay Hensley. Willingham was 1 for 2 on the day with two walks. The home run, Willingham's sixth of the season, gives him 6 RBIs for the week and 20 for the season, enough for the team lead. What has been even more impressive is his ability to come up with the big hit when needed. Willingham was also the player who redeemed Clippard the night before and the Marlins may be wishing they never traded Willingham (along with Scott Olsen) to the Nationals."
"Asked if he considered sending Hernandez out for the eighth, manager Jim Riggleman said, "You always consider that. The pitch count with Livan wasn't that high...he's not really affected by it anyway. I knew that if someone got on I wasn't going to let that part of the order face him again for the fourth time. I just felt like I'd rather let someone else start the inning clean."
"In getting swept by the Giants, the Marlins could at least point to the fact they were dealing with three of the top starters in the majors in Lincecum, Zito and Cain. But in losing two out of three to the Nationals, it was hard holding up that excuse when the pitchers are Stammen, Chico and Hernandez."