As the Nationals embark on the start of the second half of the season, Washington enjoys a four game lead in the National League East and faces off against a team that has had their number for what seems like several seasons.
The Nationals have won just one season series against the Marlins (10-8 in 2007) and are 64-88 all-time in Miami.
Even this year, the Marlins are the only NL East team with a winning record so far this season against the Nats (3-2). The Nats are 6-2 against the Braves, and 4-2 against the Mets and Phillies.
The Nationals feel confident in right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, who gets the call tonight in Miami. Zimmermann has had a very consistent first half, going at least six innings in every one of his 17 starts in 2012.
This season, Zimmermann has been incredibly stingy, surrendering one earned run or less in nine of those 17 games, and two earned runs or less in 12 of those 17 starts.
Further, Zimmermann has been a model of consistency on the bump for the Nats, firing at least six frames in 38 of his last 44 starts dating to Oct. 1, 2010.
Marlins starter Josh Johnson is 8-0 versus the Nats in his career and Zimmermann is 0-3 lifetime facing the Fish, so the Nationals are again looking to reverse a recent trend in a season of table turning in the NL East.
Zimmermann has done better on the road than at home, going 4-3 with a 2.38 ERA in eight starts away from Nats Park, striking out 35 and walking only nine.