Washington Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals Series Preview (5/26-5/29)
By Ricky Keeler
Jaime Garcia (3-4, 3.59) vs. Max Scherzer (5-3, 3.80) – 7:05 p.m, MASN/WUSA9
Unlike Leake, Garcia will be coming to this start trying to shake off a bad outing last time out. On May 22 against the Diamondbacks, Garcia went only 2.1 innings, gave up five runs on ten hits, and walked one in a loss. Even though the right-hander has lost back-to-back games, he had given up only three runs in his three starts prior to May 22.
Garcia is one of those pitchers who is going to try to make the opponent hit the ball on the ground. He has induced 10+ groundball outs in four consecutive outings and in five of his last six starts. Plus, he has given up only two home runs this season.
One of those home runs came against the Nats back on April 30 (Jayson Werth). Garcia went 6.1 innings, gave up four runs on four hits, struck out six, and walked three in the loss. He is 4-2 with a 3.32 ERA in seven career starts vs. Washington. Werth is 6-for-20 (.300) against him with two home runs and six RBI’s.
Ever since that bad outing in Chicago, Scherzer has looked like an ace. In his last outing against the Marlins, Scherzer went eight innings, gave up two runs on six hits, and struck out eight to pick up his fifth win of the season.
The Nats’ right-hander has given up two runs in each of his last three outings and has struck out 38 batters. He has seven or more strikeouts in six straight outings and his 54 strikeouts this month are second in baseball behind Clayton Kershaw (55).
Back on May 1, Scherzer threw seven shutout innings, gave up four hits, and struck out nine in a win over the Cardinals. He has given up four runs in three games vs. St. Louis since joining the Washington Nationals. If Matt Carpenter plays, he is 5-for-10 with two RBI’s.
Prediction: Even though the Cardinals have a strong lineup, Scherzer is starting to look like an ace once again and that means good things for the Washington Nationals. The Nats find a way to get to Garcia early like in the previous matchup and pick up their first win of the series.
Next: Saturday's Matchup