Miami Marlins Game Preview: Game 17 vs Washington Nationals

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All things considered, the Miami Marlins should be pretty happy with their 4-6 road trip. A 4-game series sweep at the hand of the New York Mets was sandwiched between series wins against the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies.

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The Mets sweep left a bad taste in the mouths of the Marlins and their fans, even stirring up rumors about the job safety of manager Mike Redmond. Things didn’t get better with a series opening loss to the Phillies, dropping their record to a 3-11 mark.

Fortunately for the Miami Marlins and Redmond, they soon realized they were playing the Philadelphia Phillies and won the next two games to win their second series of the road trip.

After their 4-6 10-game road trip for the Miami Marlins, they return Friday to begin a 3-game series with the Washington Nationals. The Nationals come into the series two games ahead of the Marlins, at 7-9. For more on the Nationals, check out the series preview chat I had with Pablo Roa of District on Deck.

The Miami Marlins will be out for revenge on Friday night, looking to muster a hit from Jordan Zimmermann. On the last day of the season in 2014, the Marlins ended a second straight season being involved in a no-hitter. Zimmerman fired 9 complete innings, without allowing any runs or hits, striking out 10 Marlins and walking just one.

Countering Zimmermann will be Mat Latos, still trying to figure things out in 2015. Three starts into the season, Latos owns a 10.24 ERA and a 4.19 FIP, both significantly worse than his career numbers. Latos’ season high in innings in 2015 has been 5 innings, his last time out. He’ll need to start providing the team with more, as the rotation and bullpen are still far from being in mid-season form.

Before the game, the Marlins placed Christian Yelich on the disabled list and called up Justin Bour:

Yelich last played April 19th, so a stint retroactive to that will allow him to return at May 4th, if he is 100% ready to go at that point.

That was n0t the only move for the Fish, as they placed catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia on the paternity list and selected the contract of Jhonatan Solano, the younger brother of Donovan Solano. Grant Dayton was designated for assignment to make room for Solano on the 40-man roster.

Here is the lineup Redmond will send out for the series opener:

  1. Dee Gordon, 2B
  2. Martin Prado, 3B
  3. Giancarlo Stanton, RF
  4. Michael Morse, 1B
  5. Marcell Ozuna, CF
  6. J.T. Realmuto, C
  7. Ichiro Suzuki, LF
  8. Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
  9. Mat Latos

Realmuto is back in the lineup after having a day game off after a night game on Thursday. Jarrod Saltalamacchia went 0-for-4 with a walk in his first start since April 18th. His slash line is now .069/.182/.207 for the 2015 season. It will be interesting to see what the team does with Salty when he’s eligible to come back.

Adeiny Hechavarria, believe it or not, has been the Marlins 3rd best hitter so far. His slash line of .311/.338/.410 and 109 wRC+ line up as the third best on the team. This is on the heels of a .346 BABIP, though, so regression for Hech could be brutal, as it was last April when he started the season with a .280/.315/.400 slash line and 96 wRC+.

Here’s the lineup for the Nationals:

Despite the heavy criticism laid on him, Bryce Harper, I’ve always enjoyed watching him play. He’s off to a fast start in 2015, posting a .259/.420/.500 slash line with a 148 wRC+. He has 8 home runs, but has struck out in nearly 32% of his plate appearances.

This series will bring a couple of former Marlins back to Marlins Park, in Dan Uggla and Reed Johnson. Combined, the dynamic duo have posted a -0.4 fWAR in 69 at bats. Uggla is starting at second for the Nats tonight.

Follow Marlin Maniac on Twitter @MarlinManiac for all your Miami Marlins news, opinion and analysis!

Next: Marlins-Nats Series Preview

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