Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nationals–Braves (6/30-7/2)

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Jun 25, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Doug Fister (58) throws to the Atlanta Braves during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

 Doug Fister (3-3, 4.15 ERA) vs. Matt Wisler (1-1, 3.75 ERA), 7:10 PM ET, broadcast on MASN

Again, this is a scheduled rematch with the same pitchers who started the game July 25th. That game was a 7-0 win for the Nationals.

Doug Fister was pitching his second game after his recent trip to the DL. He was much sharper in this game than he was in his first start back and went deeper. He went seven innings, gave up no runs on four hits and walked only one batter. There were still more fly balls (14) than we are used to seeing from Doug Fister, as opposed to groundouts (6). Fister is still working on keeping the ball down and completely regaining his control after being on the disabled list.

Matt Wisler was making his second start in the major leagues last Thursday. His first start was every pitcher’s dream debut. He pitched against the New York Mets and threw eight strong innings, only giving up one run. Although his team did not give him much run support, he got just enough to qualify for the win. The Braves won that game by the score of 2-1.

His start against the Nationals was a return to reality. Wisler gave up six runs (only four of them earned) in four innings. The Nationals hitters were all over him. Apparently, they had studied the film of his Mets start and saw a way to get to him. The Nationals got nine hits off Wisler in four innings. However, let’s note that Wisler did not walk anyone and his defense was a bit porous behind him.

If Fister can increase the ground outs and decrease the fly balls, he will probably turn in an even better performance during this start. If he is leaving the ball up it could be a long night.

If Wisler has figured out what went wrong during his last start against the Nationals, he may be harder to get hits off of this time around. He has shown that he can give a team trouble and he has good stuff.

Advantage: Fister is a veteran pitcher who has faced the Braves in the past and been able to handle them for the most part. Wisler may have a hard time being asked to handle the Nationals line up if the Nats can field a healthy team.