Washington Nationals at Marlins Series Preview (5/20-5/22)
Joe Ross (3-3, 2.63) vs. Jose Fernandez (5-2, 3.21) – 7:15 p.m, FOX
This matchup is a rematch from last Sunday’s game when the Marlins defeated the Nats, 5-1. In that game, Ross wasn’t helped by some bad defense when Stephen Drew lost a pop up in the sun that allowed two runs to score. He went 5.2 innings, gave up five runs (three earned) on seven hits, struck out three, and walked two on 106 pitches in the loss.
Ross, who will turn 23 tomorrow, is 0-3 this month with a 4.91 ERA. One of the problems for Ross is that he has not been able to get out of the sixth inning, especially in his last two outings (six runs). He has been good on the road this season as he has a 1.21 ERA in four starts (4.38 ERA in three home starts).
Despite that loss, Ross is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in three starts this season against the Marlins. Stanton is 2-for-7 (.286) with a home run and two RBI’s against Ross in his career.
As for Fernandez, he was dominant in his outing last Sunday against the Nats and he would’ve had a shutout if not for an outfield collision that allowed Ryan Zimmerman to get an inside-the-park home run. He went seven innings, gave up one run on four hits, struck out 11, and walked three on 117 pitches in the win.
This month, the 23-year-old right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA and has 29 strikeouts (11 K’s in back-to-back games). He is tied for fifth in strikeouts among all NL pitchers this month. Despite the high strikeout numbers, he is fourth among all NL pitchers in walks this year (23).
Fernandez is 20-1 with a 1.65 ERA in 30 career outings at home and he is 5-0 with a 1.05 ERA in eight starts against the Nats. Zimmerman is 4-for-14 (.286) with a double and the aforementioned home run in his career.
Prediction: While I expect Ross to have a strong outing on his birthday, the Nats haven’t shown they can beat Fernandez, so I don’t expect that to change here. Marlins get the win.
Next: Sunday's Matchup