MIAMI - Well, this certainly is not what the Nationals expected.
Arriving Thursday night, the Nats were above .500 again after a series win at home against the Giants.
As of today they have lost two in a row to the last-place Marlins and now look to veteran right-hander Stephen Strasburg (1-1, 5.56 ERA) to be the stopper and avoid the sweep. I wrote this morning about how Strasburg has used a matured mental approach to get better with each start.
Strasburg needs two innings to become the all-time inning leader in Nationals history (2005-present). Left-hander Gio Gonzalez leads the way at 1,251 1/3 innings. Strasburg is 17-7 with a 3.02 ERA in 31 starts against the Marlins.
The Marlins counter with right-hander Trevor Richards (0-2, 3.57). Richards has a 3.68 ERA in three starts against the Nats, striking out eight batters in 14 2/3 innings. On July 28, 2018, he tossed six shutout innings and allowed three hits with eight strikeouts versus Washington.
What to Watch For:
1. Nats, currently 9-10, need a win to get back to .500 mark.
2. Nats need a win to avoid first sweep in Miami since April 24-26, 2015.
3. Nats to need to win to prevent Marlins from evening overall series at 34 games apiece.
4. Victor Robles needs a base hit to extend hitting streak to seven games.
5. If Juan Soto reaches base it will mark the 15th time in the past 16 games.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at MIAMI MARLINS
Where: Marlins Park
Gametime: 1:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN 2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 The Fan, 1500 AM, MLB.com, Sirius XM 89 (Nats version Streaming 869)
Weather: Roof open, sunny, 78 degrees, no precipitation, winds in from center field at 7 mph
RF Adam Eaton
CF Victor Robles
LF Juan Soto
3B Howie Kendrick
1B Ryan Zimmerman
C Kurt Suzuki
2B Brian Dozier
RHP Stephen Strasburg
SS Wilmer Difo
LF Curtis Granderson
3B Martín Prado
RF Brian Anderson
1B Neil Walker
2B Starlin Castro
SS Miguel Rojas
C Chad Wallach
CF Lewis Brinson
RHP Trevor Richards