Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nationals vs. Marlins (5/4-5/6)

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Apr 24, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) tosses the baseball around after giving up a run during the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Monday: Jordan Zimmermann (2-2, 4.88 ERA) vs. David Phelps (1-0, 3.38 ERA), 7:05 pm EST, broadcast on MASN

Jordan Zimmermann had a start against the Marlins on April 24th during the last road trip. Jordan pitched well, only giving up two earned runs in six innings, getting the no decision. The bullpen could not come through in a tie game and gave up a run late to give the Marlins a 3-2 win.

It will be interesting to see if the Marlins hitters have more success against Jordan this time, having just seen him ten days ago, or whether Zimmermann will have even more success against Marlins hitters now that he just saw them.

David Phelps is one of the Marlins good, young pitchers who has thrown the ball very effectively this year. Phelps started the year in the bullpen, making two appearances. He has had three starts this year and hasn’t yet lost a game.

Phelps is the kind of pitcher with whom the Nationals will have trouble with. The Nats hitters haven’t seen him yet this year. Their hitters traditionally can’t hit pitchers they are facing for the first time, even if in the long run they prove out to be not particularly good. A new starting pitcher’s shining moment is usually facing the Nats for the first time.

I suspect that this will be a tight game with both pitchers throwing well, but the Nats inability to score against pitchers with whom they are not familiar and their general hitting difficulties so far this year tends to give the advantage to the Marlins in this game.

Next: Tuesday's Matchup