Miami Marlins: Previewing tonight’s marquee matchup
Two elite righty arms will square off tonight in Washington as Jose Fernandez and the streaking Marlins will take on Max Scherzer and the Nationals.
Fernandez (5-0, 2.06 ERA) faced the Nats in his last start, tossing five scoreless innings in a 2-0 win at Marlins Park last Saturday. Jose’s victory came in his first start since hitting the DL following his August 7th outing against Atlanta.
This season, Miami’s ace has found success against the Nationals, surrendering just one run in 11 innings with a 2-0 record.
Fernandez was limited in his last start, throwing a season low 69 pitches in his five innings of work. Dan Jennings will likely increase Jose’s workload tonight, but don’t expect over 100 pitches thrown.
Max Scherzer also displayed excellence in his last start, firing eight innings of shutout ball against the Marlins last Sunday, surrendering just five hits while notching six strikeouts.
This broke up a rough patch in Scherzer’s season, which began with Cy Young Award aspirations. From May 1st-June 20th, the 31-year-old righty totaled six outings of double-digit strikeouts, including his June 20th no-hitter against the Pirates.
However, Scherzer slowed down, hitting a season low-point in August when he posted a 6.43 monthly ERA to accommodate his 0-3 record that month.
The Nationals need a good outing from Scherzer to keep up with the New York Mets, who stand eight games ahead of Washington in the NL East standings. The Marlins have helped and hurt both the Mets and the Nats, clubs the Fish have handled easily of late.
Miami has arguably been MLB’s most effective spoiler, owning baseball’s best record in the month of September at 12-4. This can be accredited to efficient offense, and a healthy lineup, that is.
It’s truly exciting to see how well the Marlins can perform, and with Giancarlo Stanton, the Fish become a force to be reckon with. Hopefully, this type of play can carry into 2016 and injuries subside.
Both the Marlins and Nationals have drastically underperformed in 2015. Both have also been ravaged by injuries to stars and role players alike. And both will be sending out their aces tonight. Enjoy an entertaining pitchers duel tonight, when two of baseball’s best square off.
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