Washington Nationals At St. Louis Cardinals Series Preview (4/29-5/1)
Joe Ross (2-0, 0.54) vs. Jaime Garcia (1-1, 3.24) – 2:15 p.m, MASN2/MLB Network
It will be interesting to see how Ross responds after not pitching in a Major League game since April 20. In that start, the right-hander only went two innings because of a blister that he had on his right middle finger.
Despite those concerns, it’s been a good first month of the season for Ross. He went seven innings in each of his first two starts of the year and has given up only one run.
Against the Cardinals last season, Ross had one of his worst starts of the season. Back on September 1, he went 2.2 innings, gave up three runs on one hit, struck out three, and walked a career high six batters. It would be the second to last start he would make last year. That being said, the one hit was from Peralta, who is out for this series.
As for Garcia, the 29-year-old has struggled with consistency in his last couple of starts. He has not made it past five innings in either game and has walked seven batters. However, he does have the potential to put up a great outing.
Back on April 14 against the Brewers, Garcia threw a complete game one-hit shutout and struck out 13 batters. He has 16 combined strikeouts in his other three games. The key for Garcia this season will be to stay healthy when you consider he hasn’t made more than 20 starts in a season since 2011.
Against the Nationals, Garcia is 4-1 with a 2.88 ERA in six outings, but he hasn’t faced them since 2014. While Chris Heisey might not get the start, he is 6-for-21 (.286) with five doubles, a triple, and a RBI against him.
Prediction: It will be interesting to see how Ross responds after having all the time off because of the blister. While I think he will be okay in this one, I think Garcia and the Cardinals will win game number two because of the inconsistency of the Nationals’ offense.
Next: Sunday's Matchup