Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nats vs. Diamondbacks (8/3-8/6)

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Jul 23, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Doug Fister (58) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the second inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Zack Godley (2-0, 2.25 ERA) v. Doug Fister (4-6, 4.39) – 7:05 PM ET, broadcast on MASN

Godley was recently promoted to the Major Leagues and made his debut on July 23 against the Brewers. Before joining the D’Backs, Godley began the season at high-A where he went 8-3 with a 2.27 ERA in 14 starts. After getting three starts in double-A, the player who was part of the deal that sent catcher Miguel Montero to the Cubs got the call.

The 25-year-old right-hander has thrown six innings in each of his first two starts and given up a total of three runs. Against the Mariners on July 28, he gave up those three runs on seven hits, struck out four, and walked three on 94 pitches. According to Fangraphs, Godley has a fastball that averages 92 miles per hour, a cutter, a curveball, and changeup.

As for Doug Fister, the Nats’ right-hander got his first win since June 25 in his last start against the Miami Marlins. The 31-year-old went six innings, gave up two runs on four hits, struck out four, and walked one in the win.

When you look at that start more closely, it was the first time Fister did not allow ten or more flyball outs since June 18. While the groundball outs are still not where you want them, but the amount of home runs he has given up have come down. In three of his last four starts, he has not given up a single home run.

Fister made one start against the Diamondbacks last season. In that game on May 14 (his second start of the season), he went seven innings, gave up one run on five hits, struck out six, and did not walk a batter in a no-decision. Second baseman Aaron Hill (.218, 4 HR, 24 RBI’s) is 3-for-10 against Fister with two home runs and three RBI’s.

Advantage: With the Nationals facing so many elite pitchers over the last couple of weeks, this may be the game that their offense turns it around. While Godley has pitched well for Arizona and should keep his team in the game, I like the Nats to adjust to Godley around the fourth and fifth inning and give Doug Fister enough run support to get the win.

Next: Tomorrow's Matchup