Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nats at Marlins (9/11-9/13)

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Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

For the Washington Nationals (71-68), it is now about winning as many games as they can. The Nats were four games behind the New York Mets in the NL East heading into Monday’s afternoon game, but they will enter play tonight against the Marlins, 7.5 games behind New York with 23 games to go. The Nats blew the lead late in the game of all three matchups, including losing a 7-1 lead in the seventh inning on Tuesday night. The bullpen was not able to get key outs, including the late inning duo of Drew Storen and Jonathan Papelbon.

After going 4-3 on their seven game homestand, the Nats begin a six game road trip tonight down in Miami with a three game series against the Marlins (59-81). Despite being 22 games under .500, the Marlins are 6-6 against the Nats in 12 matchups this season. Washington did take two of three games from Miami at Nats Park from August 28-30.

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While Jose Fernandez will be back in the Marlins’ rotation on Saturday, Dan Jennings’ team is still without Giancarlo Stanton. Miami’s right fielder, who has been out of the lineup since June 26, with a hand injury, will not play in this series and there is still a chance he will not play in another game this season.

When you look at this Marlins’ offense, the guy to keep an eye on is second baseman Dee Gordon (.328, 2 HR, 36 RBI’s). This season, Gordon is hitting .380 in 12 games against Washington with a .404 on-base percentage, As far as who has hit the most home runs against the Nationals, that would be first baseman Justin Bour (.255, 16 HR, 53 RBI’s). In 11 games, Bour has hit three home runs and drove in seven runs against Washington.

The Nationals come into this series reeling, but Miami has had some success of late as they have won their last three series. The Marlins starters have an ERA of 4.30, which is ninth in the National League, but the rotation looks a lot different then it did early in the season.

With that being said, let’s see who has the edge in each of the three pitching matchups:

Next: Tonight's Matchup