Series Preview: Washington Nationals @ Miami Marlins April 15-17, Games 13-15


Apr 12, 2013; Washington, D.C., USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper (34) is congratulated by third base coach Trent Jewett (44) after hitting a two-run home run in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

After dropping another series, the Miami Marlins 2013 record now sits at just 2-10. The team is currently 1-5 on their 9 game home stand and have a lot of work to do in order to be a .500 team by the end of the season. As a result of the slow start, the Marlins already see their deficit in the division swelling near double digits.

Both teams are coming off of a disappointing previous series. The Nationals were swept away by the division leading Atlanta Braves. The Nats were outscored 18-5 in the series which included subpar pitching performances from Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez. The Nationals hope to bounce back against a team that used to make them their punching bag.

The Marlins finally snapped a six game losing streak, winning the middle game of their series against the Philadelphia Phillies. The series was an extremely low scoring one, as the Phillies barley edged the Marlins 6-4 in their three games. The Marlins offense has continued to struggle and it did not help that star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton was not available for any of the games.

This will be the second meeting between these two teams. The Nationals swept the first series up in Washington behind shutdown pitching. The Marlins scored only one run in that series, as Strasburg and Gonzalez helped pitch shutouts. Jordan Zimmerman allowed the lone run, a home run hit by Justin Ruggiano.

The Marlins hope to have better luck this time around.

Washington Nationals (7-5) @ Miami Marlins (2-10), April 15-17, Games 13-15

NL East Standings


 Stadium: Marlins Park 

Five-year Run PF*: N/A
Five-year HR PF*: N/A
Stadium Dimensions:
Left field line—340 ft.
Left-center field—384 ft.
Center field—416 ft.
Right-center field—392 ft.
Right field line—335 ft.

*Five-year regressed park factors provided by Patriot here

Projected Pitching Matchups

April 15:  Jordan Zimmerman vs. Wade LeBlanc
April 16: Dan Haren vs. Alex Sanabia
April 17:  Ross Detwiler vs. Ricky Nolasco

2013 Season Statistics

3.732.08ZimmermanApril 15LeBlanc3.273.22
7.269.00HarenApril 16Sanabia4.916.40
4.270.69DetwilerApril 17Nolasco3.124.54

April 13, 2012;Washington, D.C., USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmerman (27) throws a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Monday, April 15- Jordan Zimmerman vs. Wade LeBlanc:

Jordan Zimmerman will be taking the mound for the Nationals in the first game. Zimmerman pitched seven solid innings last time out against the Chicago White Sox. Zimmerman allowed seven hits and struck out four hitters. In his first start of the season, against the Marlins, Zimmerman lasted six innings, allowing eight hits, while striking out two, and walking one. Giancarlo Stanton has three career homeruns off of Zimmerman in 13 at bats. The Marlins hope to see him back in the lineup Monday.

If LeBlanc can get past the first inning without allowing a run, he should be in great shape the rest of the game. LeBlanc has allowed just four runs all season, with all of them coming in the first inning of each start. LeBlanc pitched six solid innings his last time out, striking out five Brave hitters. In six career April starts, LeBlanc has a 1.98 ERA. Wade also enjoyed a strong start in his season debut against the Nats, pitching five innings and striking out five Nats.

Tuesday, April 16 – Dan Haren vs. Alex Sanabia:

Dan Haren has struggled early on during the 2013 campaign. Haren got roughed up in his first start, allowing six runs and four home runs to the Cincinnati Reds. Haren improved a bit in his second start, but still allowed 10 hits over five innings and limiting Whie Sox to just three runs. Not particularly a strong second start, but Haren has had impressive control early on, striking out 10 hitters while walking none.

In his first 10 innings, Sanabia did not surrender a run, but only had one clean inning. Alex Sanabia’s inability to keep runners off the bases finally came back and haunted him against the Braves. The Braves offense exploded for six runs off of the right hander in the fifth inning. Sanabia has allowed 14 hits and walked 6 batters in his 11 innings of work. He seems to be the most likely option to be sent down when Henderson Alvarez and Nathan Eovaldi return from their shoulder injuries.

Wednesday, April 17 – Ross Detwiler vs. Ricky Nolasco:

The lefty held Atlanta to one run on four hits over seven innings his last time out. Detwiler struck out five hitters and walked two hitters, but the Nationals bullpen blew the game for Detwiler for the second time this season. Detwiler also enjoyed a strong start against the Reds in his first start, going six innings and allowing just one unearned run. Detwiler owns a career 2.38 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings against the Marlins.

Apr 6, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco (47) throws a pitch against the New York Mets during the first of a game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Ricky Nolasco gets to pitch the finale for the Marlins in this one. Nolasco pitched six innings last time out against the Phillies, allowing seven hits, striking out and walking one hitter a piece. Nolasco was working out of jams most of the night. On Opening Day against the Nationals, Nolasco pitched a solid six innings, but two of the three hits he allowed turned out to be Bryce Harper solo home runs. Nolasco has made three starts this season and his longest outing has been six innings. Nolasco owns a career 3.54 ERA in 117 innings against the Nationals.

On paper, like the Nationals series, the Braves completely blow away the Marlins. But the beauty of the sport, anything can happen. Let’s hope the Marlins can steal a game or two at home. Check out my chat with editor Andrew Flax of District on Deck to further preview this series. (Will have that posted later today when the post goes up.)

Upcoming Schedule:

April 18-21: @ Cincinnati Reds

April: 22-23: @ Minnesota Twins

April 25-28: vs Chicago Cubs