Manager: Don Mattingly (3rd season)
Last 10 games: 3-7
Who to watch: C J.T. Realmulto (.282 with 21 HR, 71 RBIs), 2B Starlin Castro (.280), RF Brian Anderson (59 RBIs), LF Derek Dietrich (16 HR, 45 RBIs), RHP Sandy Alcantara (2-0, 1.42 ERA), RHP Kyle Barraclough (10 saves)
Season series vs. Nationals: 5-9
Inside the Marlins:
There’s not a lot of mystery left in Miami, where the Marlins are in locked into last place in the National League East and hoping to avoid 100 losses. They can do so with five wins in their final 13 games. Such is life in a rebuild, where young players dot the lineup and inexperienced pitchers trot out to the mound most nights, hoping to make an impression. The Marlins have dropped five of six and finished a 2-7 road trip. For the fried Fish, October the offseason and a reset opportunity can’t come soon enough.
Catcher J.T. Realmuto, who has been linked to the Nationals in trade rumors all season, is putting the finishing touches on a stellar year, posting career highs in homers (21) and RBIs (71). Right fielder Brian Anderson has been deadly with runners in scoring position with a ..366 average. Second baseman Starlin Castro makes use of his speed, and has 25 infield hits, eighth-most in the majors. When the end of the season arrives, versatile Derek Dietrich will let his bumps and bruises heal; he’s set a new club record by being hit by pitches 20 times and leads the majors in that category.
A pair of rookie right-handers, Trevor Richards and Sandy Alcantara, take the mound for the Marlins in the two-game series. Richards, Monday’s starter, has lost four straight decisions and is 1-5 with a 4.81 ERA in his past 13 starts. He’s made two starts against the Nationals, both no-decisions, but has posted a 1.86 ERA. Alcantara was the key piece the Marlins got from the Cardinals in the offseason trade for outfielder Marcell Ozuna. After going 6-3 with a 3.97 ERA in 19 starts at Triple-A New Orleans, he’s posted a 2-0 record and 2-0 record and 1.42 ERA in his first three major league starts. Alcantara, who starts Tuesday, has held opponents to a .131/.274/.246 slash line so far and has yielded one home run in 19 1/3 innings. He’s never faced the Nationals.
Should the Marlins get a lead to the ninth inning, right-hander Kyle Barraclough will likely get the call. But he’s blown seven chances to go with 10 saves and his 4.33 ERA is inflated for a closer.