Opening Day did not go the way the Miami Marlins or their fans wanted. The Washington Nationals were able to shut the Marlins down in all aspects of the game, behind strong games from Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.
Despite the loss, Marlins de-facto ace Ricky Nolasco enjoyed a strong start. If Ricky can continue to give the Marlins those type of performances for the rest of the first half on a consistent basis, the Marlins will be able to get a decent return on him when they try to deal him at the July 31st deadline.
Although the Miami Marlins lost their opener, the team still has another 161 games to go. Hopefully the team can manage to find a way to win more games then they lose the rest of the way.
NL East Standings
Opening Week 2013: Miami Marlins (0-0) @ Washington Nationals (0-0), April 3rd Game #2 7PM EST
Stadium: Nationals Park
Five-year Run PF*: 1.00
Five-year HR PF*: .99
Left field line—337 ft.
Left-center field—377 ft.
Center field—402 ft.
Right-center field—370 ft.
Right field line—335 ft.
*Five-year regressed park factors provided by Patriot here
Projected Pitching Matchups
ZiPS In-Season Projections
|Proj. FIP||Proj. ERA||Marlins||Date||Mets||Proj. ERA||Proj. FIP|
For the second straight game, the Washington Nationals will have a decided advantage over the Miami Marlins in the pitching matchup. Gio Gonzalez is coming off a strong debut season for the Nationals, when he posted 2.89 ERA and a 2.92 FIP, while posting a career high WAR of 5.0. Gio struck out 207 batters in 199.1 innings, while improving on his walk rate, posting a career best 3.43 BB/9 ratio. He would be the ace of any other staff, but in Washington, he pitches behind one of the best pitchers in baseball in Stephen Strasburg.
Kevin Slowey will be going for the Marlins, as he won a spot in the rotation after a strong spring and a collapse by Jacob Turner. Slowey was pushed up to be the Marlins number 2 starter after Henderson Alvarez and Nathan Eovladi were placed on the DL with elbow issues. Slowey is no match for Gio, as his career ERA/FIP sit at 4.66/4.24. While he is a decent option for the bottom of the rotation, he is in over his head as the Marlins second pitcher in the rotation. With the Marlins expecting Alvarez and Eovaldi to return before the end of the month and Jose Fernandez to stick in the rotation, Slowey’s time with the Marlins might be limited. Michael Jong posted a solid scouting report on Slowey on Fishstripes.
Projected Lineup against Gonzalez
|Lineup||Player||Current wOBA||Proj. wOBA||Proj. OBP|
With a left handed pitcher going for the Nationals, it is expected that manager Mike Redmond will start Justin Ruggiano in center. He will likely be slotted into the fifth spot for the Marlins, behind Placido Polanco, a decision that is still head-scratching. I would also expect Redmond to place Olivo in the Marlins starting lineup, giving the Marlins a primarily right handed batting lineup against Gio.
I do not have him in the projected lineup, but it would also be no surprise to me to see Austin Kearns get the start at first base in this one. While Kearns did not hit well during the spring, the one thing he did show was patience at the plate, drawing a few walks. With the Marlins needing all the base runners they can get, he would not be a bad option in this game.
The Nationals strong pitching and timely hitting will be too much for the Marlins to handle. Washington will jump on Slowey early on and never look back in this one. Good news for the Marlins, Stanton will go 2-f0r-3 with a home run and a walk for the Fish. The Marlins lose this one 7-3.