Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nationals at Brewers (6/11-6/14)

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Jun 7, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) pitches during the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Zimmermann (5-3, 3.18) vs. Mike Fiers (2-6, 4.06), 8:10 PM ET, MASN2

It will be a homecoming of sorts for Zimmermann on Friday night as the 29-year-old Zimmermann returns to his home state of Wisconsin. In his last start against the Cubs on June 7, Zimmermann was not his usual self in terms of control. He went five innings, gave up four runs on ten hits, struck out three, and walked two batters to lose his first start since April 18 against the Phillies. While his fastball velocity has gone up, the ten hits he gave up last start was a season high.

He did keep the damage to four runs, but the Nationals number two starter will be looking to go back to the form that he had in May, when he went 2-0 with a 1.91 ERA in five starts. Going back to Wisconsin just might help him in this case.

He is 4-0 with a 2.35 ERA in five starts against Milwaukee with three of those outings coming at Miller Park. The hitter to watch on the Brewers is Aramis Ramirez, who is 8-for-22 against Zimmermann with four doubles, a home run, and two RBI’s.

While Mike Fiers’ record might be 2-6, he has not been able to get any run support from his team. Like his teammate Garza, Fiers is tied for the ninth lowest run support in the league (3.08). While he has not given up more than two earned runs in each of his last six starts, he has only thrown six innings or more in five of his 12 starts.

Last time out against the Twins on June 7, the 29-year-old right-hander went 4.1 innings, gave up two runs on seven hits, struck out three, and walked a season-high three batters. He is 1-1 in three games against the Nats with a 1.59 ERA, but only one of those three outings was as a starter (2013). Ryan Zimmerman is 2-for-5 against Fiers with a home run and two RBI’s.

Advantage: While Fiers has done a good job of keeping the Brewers in the game each of the last six starts, the Nationals should have enough not offense to end that streak. If Jordan Zimmermann has his control issues figured out in this one, he should get back on track in this outing where he will pitch in a stadium that he likes to pitch in. Nationals take the first two games of this series.