May 19, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) walks off the field after beating the New York Yankees 8-6 at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
MM: Can you give us a quick scouting report on the pitchers the Marlins will face this series?
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RK: Jordan Zimmermann takes the ball for the Nationals tonight against Jose Fernandez and I would expect Zimmermann to pitch well. He has a 2.08 ERA in two starts against Miami this season and he has continued to show good control that he had last season. That being said, he does have a ERA of nearly four in four starts this month. The Marlins will see Doug Fister on Wednesday and Fister has struggled all season. The problem for Fister is that he is leaving his sinker up in the zone and teams are taking advantage of a pitcher who only throws his fastball in the mid-80’s in terms of velocity.
The Marlins will see Max Scherzer Thursday afternoon and Scherzer is coming off his worst start of the season. He gave up three home runs for the first time in a start this season and has given up five runs twice in his last four starts. That being said, Scherzer has still been a consistent ace for the Nats this season and he did strike out ten in his first start against Miami back in May.
MM: How do you see the series playing out? Any bold predictions?
RK: To me, this series will be interesting to watch from a Nats standpoint. The reason is because they have a big series this weekend against the Mets, so will their focus be somewhat on that series. However, I do like the Nationals to win the final two games of the series and for Bryce Harper to hit multiple home runs. I know I made that prediction in May, but Harper has not hit a home run in his last nine games. Even though Gordon is expected to be back and he has owned the Nats this season, the loss of Stanton will be a big relief for Washington. Plus, I’m sure they want to play better at Marlins Park after being swept there in April. Washington finds a way to take two of three in the series. .
That just about does it for our Nationals series primer. A big thanks to Ricky Keeler for taking the time to answer our questions, and make sure to check out District on Deck for all your Washington Nationals coverage. You can follow Ricky and DoD on Twitter as well.
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