Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nats Vs. Marlins (8/28-8/30)

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Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

While the Washington Nationals (64-62) were able to take two out of three games from the San Diego Padres and win their third consecutive series, the injury bug continues to plague this team. After last night’s 4-2 win, manager Matt Williams announced that Denard Span was going on the disabled list because of hip inflammation and could be out for the remainder of the season.

Plus, Yunel Escobar and Michael Taylor are both to day-to-day because of a wrist and knee injury respectively. Despite some of these injuries, there were some positive things the Nats did in this series. Stephen Strasburg and Joe Ross both put up great pitching performances in the Nats’ two wins and Ryan Zimmerman went 3-for-12 with two home runs and eight RBI’s in the thiree games.

The Nats are 4-2 in their last six games, but because the Mets have won seven games in a row, Washington is now 6.5 games back with 36 games to play. They will conclude their nine game homestand this weekend when they host the Miami Marlins (51-77). Miami has defeated the Nats in five of the nine matchups this season.

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Dan Jennings’ club, who is still without right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (wrist injury) and starting pitcher Jose Fernandez (biceps), has lost seven of its last ten games and they are 13-26 since the All-Star Break. Over that stretch, their offense has scored the second fewest runs in the National League (141). One of the players that have stood out amidst those struggles is Derek Dietrich. The Marlins’ left fielder has six home runs and 16 RBI’s over his last 34 games.

On the mound, Miami’s team ERA of 4.46 is the fourth highest in the NL. The rotation looks a lot different then when the Nats went to Miami in late July because Fernandez is hurt and Mat Latos is now with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Their bullpen hasn’t been great as closer A.J. Ramos has blown two saves and has a 7.71 ERA in his last 16 games.

Let’s take a look at who has the edge in each of the three pitching matchups this series:

Next: Tonight's Matchup