Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Marlins making difficult plays look easy

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

WASHINGTON -- Defensive gems are occurring so routinely for the Marlins these days that spectacular plays have almost become routine.

If not for some stellar plays in the field on Saturday, a 5-1 loss to the Nationals at Nationals Park on Saturday night could have been considerably worse.

View Full Game Coverage

WASHINGTON -- Defensive gems are occurring so routinely for the Marlins these days that spectacular plays have almost become routine.

If not for some stellar plays in the field on Saturday, a 5-1 loss to the Nationals at Nationals Park on Saturday night could have been considerably worse.

View Full Game Coverage

"They've been playing great defense behind me all year," right-hander Tom Koehler said. "I think that's what's so disappointing with games like this. We play hard throughout. Good at-bats and great defensive plays. One pitch kind of changes the whole dynamic of the day."

Backed by strong defense, Koehler kept it a two-run game before Clint Robinson and Ian Desmond belted back-to-back home runs to open a five-run margin in the sixth inning.

The constant all night was the defense. It started in the first inning when right fielder Ichiro Suzuki ran down Jayson Werth's long drive.

Second baseman Dee Gordon showed his range and athletic ability with a diving stop on Danny Espinosa's crisply hit grounder in the fifth inning. It was a big play, because it saved a single right after Wilson Ramos singled to open the inning. Koehler was able to strand Ramos at third.

Video: MIA@WSH: Gordon dives for stop, robs Espinosa of hit

In the fourth inning, Adeiny Hechavarria nearly pulled off a miraculous play on Desmond's infield single. The Miami shortstop made a lunging stop up the middle, quickly spun and threw to first, but Desmond was safe.

Video: MIA@WSH: Hechavarria slides, spins on great attempt

Desmond attempted to steal second after his two-out hit, but Gordon snared J.T. Realmuto's throw, which was tailing away. Realmuto made a good play to handle the pitch and make the throw. In one motion, Gordon immediately tagged Desmond for the third out.

Video: MIA@WSH: Realmuto, Gordon team up to nab Desmond "I'm not even surprised any more, to be honest with you," first baseman Justin Bour said. "It doesn't matter what ground ball it is, I feel like someone is going to be able to get to the ball, with how great these guys have been playing defensively."

Koehler received another defensive gem in the third inning, when third baseman Martin Prado picked Werth's grounder and started a 5-4-3 double play.

Video: MIA@WSH: Prado's backhanded stop starts double play

"Ichi, in the first inning, had a great running catch," manager Dan Jennings said. "Prado starting that double play. J.T. with the pick and threw out Desmond. Defensively, I thought we did some outstanding things."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Dee Gordon, Adeiny Hechavarria, Ichiro Suzuki