It was a bloodbath from the get-go. Alcides Escobar led off with a single and then scored on a Trea Turner triple. Then Juan Soto and Josh Bell hit back-to-back homers and it was 4-0 before the Marlins even recorded an out. The Nationals then got six runs the next inning and it was already a double-digit lead through two innings.
Meanwhile, Nationals starter Jon Lester was completely dominating the Marlins' offense. He ended up giving up six hits in seven scoreless innings while striking out seven and not walking anyone. It was a vintage Jon Lester performance, with him painting the corners and keeping the ball down in the zone all night. He was masterful.
Oh, and he did his best Shohei Ohtani impression by getting in on the offensive action. He went deep!
Lester notoriously was a dreadful hitter for years. He played his entire career in the American League until signing with the Cubs prior to the 2015 season. It took him until July of that season to collect his first hit, snapping an MLB-record 0-for-66 to start his career at the plate.
But he improved dramatically through the next few years at the plate. From 2017-19, for the Cubs, he hit .149 with a .236 slugging percentage along with three homers and 21 RBI. Not good at all, no, but perfectly adequate for a pitcher, especially one who made 66 straight outs to start his career.
Also of note in this game was Juan Soto clubbing a pair of homers. He didn't have quite the first half he wanted to have in terms of power and said he wanted to do the Home Run Derby to help get his power stroke back. He now has five home runs in four games since the All-Star break.
The 18 runs mark a season high for the Nationals, but it's not even close to the franchise record. They scored 25 runs on July 31, 2018.