Keep an eye on Dan Straily in Marlins-Nationals finale

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 25: Dan Straily
ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 25: Dan Straily /

The Miami Marlins are entering the final game of an away series with the division rival Washington Nationals. They are hoping for a split.

It seems as though every time the Miami Marlins manage to pull within four or five games of even, they drop several games in a row. Entering the final stanza of a four game set, they’ll look for a split on the road against the NL East division leaders.

It’s been a back and forth all season between these two teams. Considering the stranglehold the Nationals have on the division, you’d expect the season series to have been far more one-sided. In fact, both teams enter Thursday’s game with a 6-6 record against the other.

Managing a series split and taking hold of the season series lead would be a big morale boost for a team that is in desperate need of one.

The Miami Marlins currently sit at 53-59, six games under .500 for what feels like the millionth time. The return home for a six-game series after this game, and want to end the road trip on a high note. How Dan Straily bounces back from four consecutive losses will be the key.

Looking to right the ship

The Miami Marlins will be sending their best pitcher of the season to the mound to try and get them an important win. But Dan Straily has been a combination of ineffective and unlucky in his last four starts. He won’t see any drop-off against a dangerous Nationals lineup.

He’ll be looking to get a tally in the win column for the first time since July 7th against the San Francisco Giants. He went 8.1 innings in that game, his longest outing of the season. With a tired and overworked bullpen, Miami will be looking for something similar.

Straily has failed to go more than six innings in five consecutive starts, racking up pitch totals in the 90’s before getting the hook. Look for him to work down in the zone and pitch to contact to get quick outs. The righty is averaging 8.2 SO/9 this year; I’d expect slightly less than that tonight.

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Having received a loss on his record in four consecutive starts, Straily’s record has dropped to 7-8. For those who have watched him pitch this season, that might come as a surprise. His last two starts he’s been something of a hard-luck loser.

He allowed only two earned runs in those starts, an encouraging sign. A similar start might be good enough to be the Nationals, who are sending Tanner Roark to the mound.

First pitch is at 7:05 ET from Nationals Park.