Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins Series Preview (5/13-5/15)
By Ricky Keeler
Tom Koehler (2-3, 5.83 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 2.19) – 7:05 p.m ET, broadcast on MASN2
For the most part this season, Koehler has been able to keep the opposition off the board. He has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his six starts. This includes his last outing against the Phillies back on May 7 when he went seven innings, gave up one run on two hits, struck out eight, and walked two in a no-decision.
The one awful start that the 29-year-old right-hander had came on May 1 against the Brewers when he gave up eight runs in 2.1 innings. So far, the 19 runs Koehler has allowed is the second most of any Marlins’ starter (Chen leads with 21).
Koehler has had some success against the Washington Nationals this year. He is 1-1 with a 2.38 ERA in two starts. He has given up three runs in 11.1 innings. Bryce Harper is 9-for-28 (.321) against him with six home runs (one this season) and 11 RBI’s.
As for Gonzalez, he had his worst outing of the season last Saturday against the Chicago Cubs. He went 5.2 innings, gave up five runs on seven hits, struck out two, and walked one in a no-decision. The problem for Gonzalez was in the sixth inning when he allowed three hits and a RBI single before leaving the game.
Despite his struggles against a great lineup in Chicago, Gonzalez is eighth in the National League in ERA (2.19). Plus, he has been dominant at home so far this season. In three outings at Nats Park, he is 1-1 with a 1.47 ERA and has given up only three runs (no home runs).
Against the Marlins in his career, the left-hander is 6-3 with a 2.38 ERA in ten outings, but he went 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA in two starts last season. Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (.223, two home runs, 11 RBI’s) is 4-for-16 (.250) against him with a double, a triple, and three RBI’s.
Prediction: While the Nats have had their fair share of struggles against Koehler this season, this is a game where I think Gonzalez bounces back from a rough outing against the Cubs and wins a pitcher’s duel to get the series started on a good note. Plus, maybe this is the night where a Harper home run is just enough.
Next: Game 1 Matchup