Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins Series Preview (4/18-4/21)
Tanner Roark (1-1, 2.45 ERA) vs. Jose Fernandez (0-1, 5.06) – 7:05 p.m. ET, broadcast on MASN
In his last start, which was not interrupted by weather, Tanner Roark put up a quality outing against the Braves. He went seven innings, gave up no runs on four hits, struck out four, and walked three on 100 pitches in a win. While the walks were a bit high, he did throw 16 first pitch strikes to the 28 batters he faced.
It was definitely an improvement from his first start of the year at home against Miami. In the home opener, the right-hander went four innings, gave up four runs (three earned) on nine hits, struck out three, and walked three in a loss, but that start was interrupted because of rain. The interesting stat about Roark so far is that he has yet to give up an extra-base hit this season.
Roark is 2-5 with a 3.61 ERA in 13 appearances against Miami, but he has a 2.39 ERA in six games at Marlins Park. Martin Prado (.342, 0 HR, 4 RBI’s) is 6-for-12 with a home run and four RBI’s against him.
As for Jose Fernandez, the Marlins’ ace is always a tough opponent to go up against. He has had two decent starts, but does not have a win to show for it. In his first start of the year against the Tigers, he had 13 strikeouts over 5.2 innings, but gave up five runs in a loss (his first home loss of his career).
In his last start against the Mets, he had struggles with his command as he walked three batters over five innings, but he held the New York offense to one run in a no-decision. If the Marlins are going to compete for a playoff spot, they need the 23-year-old right-hander to stay healthy and put up strong numbers, like the 6-1 record with a 2.92 ERA that he had in his 11 starts last year.
Against the Nationals in his career, Fernandez is 3-0 with a 0.98 ERA in six outings. Not many Nats’ hitters have great numbers against the Marlins’ ace such as Jayson Werth, who has one home run, but is hitting .071 against him. Harper is 3-for-10 against Fernandez with four walks.
Prediction: While I do think Roark will keep this game close, the Nationals have never had much success against Fernandez. Coming off the tough loss yesterday, I think the Nats will have their first two game losing streak of the season.
Next: Tomorrow's Matchup