After a 3-7 homestand that concluded with the Miami Marlins dropping two of three to the Colorado Rockies and a day off, the Marlins head to the nation’s capital to face the Washington Nationals for three games.
Washington had won five straight before falling to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday. After a division title in 2012, the Nationals enter the series in second place in the National League East at an even .500 on the season at 65-65. The postseason looks to be a stretch at this point for Washington as the Nationals are eight games back of the final wild card spot in the National League.
The Nationals will send a trio of good starting pitchers to the mound in the series with Miami as Ross Ohlendorf, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez will all toe the rubber. Jordan Zimmermann, who leads the Nationals and is tied for the National League lead with 15 wins on the year, will not pitch in the series.
Unfortunately for Miami, All-Star Jose Fernandez will not pitch either. Fernandez threw another gem on Saturday night going seven shutout innings allowing just four hits and no walks to lower his ERA to 2.30 on the year, good for third in the NL. Henderson Alvarez however, will pitch for Miami on Wednesday night. Alvarez is coming off of his worst start of the season as he allowed five runs on seven hits in five innings in a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Marlins’ offense continues to be the worst in the league, but Miami did outscore Colorado 8-7 over their most recent three-game set. Unfortunately for the Fish, a pair of one-run losses has the Marlins tied at a season-high 31 games below .500 with a record of 49-80. The Marlins remain in last place in the National League East with a NL-worst record of 49-80.
Offensively, the series in Washington will feature two of baseball’s brightest young outfield stars in Washington’s Bryce Harper and Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton. Harper made his first All-Star game this season at the age of 20 and is hitting .274 with 18 home runs. Stanton, an All-Star in 2012, is just 23 years old himself and leads the Marlins in home runs (16), RBIs (40) and runs scored (45).
All three games in the series will be night games with the first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. EST for each. For the Marlins, the series kicks off a nine-game road trip while for the Nationals, it begins a six-game homestand.
Washington leads 6-3. The Nationals opened 2013 by shutting out the Marlins twice before sweeping a three-game series. That series was the only meeting between the teams in the nation’s capital thus far this season. Miami is 0-3 at Washington this year, but an even 3-3 at home against the Nationals. The Marlins took two of three when the teams met most recently in the final series before the All-Star break.
Tuesday – Nate Eovaldi (MIA) 2-4, 3.82 ERA vs. Ross Ohlendorf (WAS) 2-0, 2.58 ERA
Wednesday – Henderson Alvarez (MIA) 2-3, 3.86 ERA vs. Stephen Strasburg (WAS) 6-9, 3.00 ERA
Thursday – Tom Koehler (MIA) 3-8, 4.45 ERA vs. Gio Gonzalez (WAS) 7-6, 3.72 ERA