Manager: Mike Redmond, second year
Last 10 games: 3-7
Who to watch: RF Giancarlo Stanton (.291/.339/.564, 4 HR, 16 RBIs); 3B Casey McGehee (.298/.382/.447, 6 XBH, 11 RBIs); RHP Jose Fernandez (2-1, 3.78 ERA, 23 K); RHP Tom Koehler (1-1, 3.00 ERA)
Season series vs. Nats: 0-3, 8 runs scored, 22 runs allowed
The Marlins were the story of the season’s first week, but have fizzled since a 5-1 start. Miami has lost seven straight, with the Nationals to blame for igniting the slide with a three-game sweep in Washington.
The Marlins now get another shot at their National League East rivals for the second time in three series. Washington decisively took the first set, winning each of the three games by at least three runs. But the Nats didn’t have to go through 2013 NL Rookie of the Year Jose Fernandez.
That won’t be the case this time, as Fernandez will head to the hill against Tanner Roark on Wednesday. The Marlins ace is 2-1 with a 3.78 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings over his first three starts. Miami will also pitch the up-and-coming Tom Koehler against Stephen Strasburg in the middle contest. Koehler has two quality starts in as many outings this season.
Miami’s early success had more to do with an offense that was leading the majors in runs scored heading into the first series with the Nats. With just 20 runs in their last seven games, the Marlins have slid to ninth in the majors in that category.
The Fish lineup remains deep with Giancarlo Stanton the central figure, but receiving help from several teammates. Casey McGehee, Adeiny Hechavarria and Jarrod Saltalamacchia all have an .800 OPS or better. Hechavarria is batting .353 so far, McGehee has driven in 11 runs and Saltalamacchia has four extra-base hits and four RBIs.
The Marlins have an opportunity to halt a weeklong skid against one of the teams that did the most damage. But they have two of their best starters headed to the mound against a Nats club that is 6-0 against everyone other than the Braves so far this season. Be sure to tune in.