Just like Joe Ross, the Nationals gave Max Scherzer an early lead before he took the mound and he took full advantage of it. The Nats’ ace went seven innings, gave up one run on five hits, struck out seven, and walked one on 108 pitches in the win. The only mistake Scherzer made in that game was a solo home run by Cameron Rupp in the bottom of the fifth.
So far, Scherzer has thrown over 100 pitches in each of his first three outings. He has 20 strikeouts in those games. Plus, Scherzer helped his own cause in that win over Philadelphia when he hit a two-run double in the fifth after the Phillies walked Danny Espinosa intentionally.
Scherzer was supposed to start in the first series against Miami, but it got pushed back because of the postponement. Against Miami last season, he was 3-1 with a 2.75 ERA in five starts and he did not give up a run in two outings at Marlins Park. Gordon is 8-for-26 (.308) against him with a home run and two RBI’s.
As for Koehler, he is coming off of a rough outing against the Braves in his last start. He went 3.2 innings gave up six runs (five earned) on nine hits, struck out six, and walked one on 72 pitches.
While Koehler can be one of those guys who gives the Marlins length in games, consistency is always going to be a big question, especially when you consider his ERA in the second half of last season was 4.84, over a full run higher than the first half (3.40). That being said, Koehler had a good start against the Nats on April 10 when he gave up two runs over 6.1 innings, but Jayson Werth’s game-winning single against Edwin Jackson caused Koehler to take the loss.
In ten career starts against Washington, the 29-year-old right-hander is 3-7 with a 4.45 ERA. Harper is 8-for-26 (.308) with five home runs and ten RBI’s against Koehler.
Prediction: Even though the Nationals didn’t have much success against Koehler last time, I expect the Nats to have a better result offensively in this one. Washington gets the win behind a great outing from Scherzer and they will split the four game series with the Marlins.