Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nationals-Marlins (4/24-4/26)

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Apr 18, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher

Jordan Zimmermann

(27) pitches during the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Friday: Jordan Zimmermann (1-2, 6.14 ERA) vs. Mat Latos (0-3, 10.24 ERA), 7:05 pm EST, MASN 2

Neither Jordan Zimmermann nor Mat Latos have pitched well this season like their career numbers suggest they will.

Zimmermann has had three starts this season. In his first start against the New York Mets, he appeared to be vintage Jordan, only allowing one run in six innings and getting the win.

Zimmermann’s other two starts have been shaky. In his second start against the Boston Red Sox, he didn’t get out of the third inning, allowing seven earned runs. His pitches had no movement.

Against the Phillies in his last start, he only allowed two earned runs in 6.1 innings pitched. He took the loss due to shoddy defense behind him that allowed two unearned runs. However, Jordan had to battle during the entire outing and allowed an uncharacteristic four walks. He threw 101 pitches just to get through those six innings.

Mat Latos has a hyperinflated ERA due to a dreadful first start against the Atlanta Braves when he didn’t survive the first inning. He gave up seven earned runs in less than an inning. That translated to an ERA of 94.50. He has brought that ERA down to 10.24 due to the two good starts he has had since then.

Latos subsequently only gave up two earned runs in four innings against the Braves and two earned runs in five innings pitched against the Mets. He has been pitching much more like the Marlins expected him to when they traded for him. However, he hasn’t gone long in any outing this season.

This pitching matchup is full of question marks. If both pitchers revert to form, run scoring will be at a premium for both teams. If both struggle, the Nats may have the advantage as there are concerns about Latos’ fastball velocity thus far this season. If the Nationals hitters are patient and push Latos into six or seven innings, he may tire and become hittable.

The Nationals have a slight advantage in this matchup. However, if Jordan struggles, it could be a long day for the Nats.

Next: Strasburg vs. Koehler