At some point this season, the Miami Marlins will score.
They just have not been able to get even one runner home so far in two games against the Washington Nationals and the defending NL East champions' top pair of starters, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez.
"Two good pitchers. Those guys, they did their job," rookie Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "We've got a couple of guys that may be pressing a little bit, too. But, you know, we'll be fine."
Off to a rough start with their payroll that's below $45 million, the Marlins were shut out for the second time this season, losing 3-0 to Gonzalez and the Nationals on Wednesday night.
According to Washington's public relations staff, it's the 13th time since 1900 that a club hasn't allowed a run over its first two games.
The Marlins have only seven hits so far and have been outscored 5-0.
This is a team that looks quite different from last season, what with players such as Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez gone via trades.
"It's not really hard to fathom. I look at this staff and that's what I expect," said Ryan Mattheus, one of three Nationals relievers who followed Gonzalez's six scoreless innings. "I see (starting pitchers) 1 through 5. And then the bullpen down there, the seven guys we've got. I think there's going to be a lot of shutouts."
Gonzalez (1-0), who was bothered by a severe headache while warming up with the temperature in the 40s, also hit his second career homer, with one out in the fifth off Kevin Slowey (0-1).
"A slider that I just actually tried to bury. Tried to throw a very good one and I just kind of got underneath. It's a shame to have that happen," said Slowey, who gave up one run and four hits in 5 1-3 innings.
After hitting two homers in Game 1, Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper went 2 for 4 with a double. The 2012 NL Rookie of the Year scored on Ryan Zimmerman's single in the eighth off reliever A.J. Ramos.
The Nationals scored an unearned run in the seventh off Ryan Webb with an unusual series of events. Danny Espinosa reached on second baseman Donovan Solano's fielding error, was bunted over to second, took third on a wild pitch — one of two by Webb in the inning — and scored on Denard Span's fielder's choice grounder.
Even that last bit was odd: Pinch-runner Roger Bernadina ran right into Solano and hugged-slash-tackled the fielder as he tried to collect the ball and throw it to first, where Span was safe.
"We just keep grinding. I think Red's done a great job of encouraging guys. We have a lot of talent in this clubhouse. I think anybody would look at this clubhouse and say we've got guys who can swing," Slowey said. "We've seen a couple of guys who've thrown really, really well. I think we're going to get ours at some point. I know as a pitching staff we're confident we're going to put runs up."
NOTES: When Slowey made his major league debut on June 1, 2007, for the Minnesota Twins against Oakland, his catcher was Redmond. ... After Nationals C Wilson Ramos started Game 1, Kurt Suzuki was behind the plate in Game 2 and threw out Juan Pierre trying to steal in the third inning. ... In the series finale Thursday, RHP Jordan Zimmermann will start for Washington, LHP Wade LeBlanc for Miami.