WASHINGTON -- Huge cheer from the crowd here at Nationals Park after Nats pitcher Daniel Cabrera just grounded out, 3 unassisted. The reason: it marked the first time in 19 career at bats that Cabrera did NOT strike out.
That's right. Cabrera had whiffed in every one of his previous 18 at bats, including his first plate appearance this afternoon.
Meanwhile, Chris Volstad's pitch count is beginning to near flood level. He's thrown 85 pitches through four innings, which means the bullpen will likely have to cover at least three or four innings this afternoon.
Remember, the bullpen is working on a scoreless streak of 21 1/3 innings. That's the longest such streak for the Marlins since the 2004 'pen went 23 2/3 innings without allowing a run.
The bullpen has already had to cover 11 innings in the first two games of this series. Nunez, Penn and Lindstrom did not pitch yesterday, so they should be fresh. Kensing and Pinto pitched each of the first two games and probably aren't available.
On the flip side, the bad news for the Marlins is that Nationals closer Joel Hanrahan probably isn't available, either, having given up game-tying home runs in the ninth inning of the first two games.