The Washington Nationals begin a three-game series against the Miami Marlins tonight; here are five storylines to keep an eye on.
The Washington Nationals are coming off of a series loss against the Colorado Rockies. Although they lost the series, there were several encouraging aspects.
Edwin Jackson started the second game of Sunday’s double-header, and pitched another gem. After shutting down the Angels and struggling against the Brewers, it wasn’t clear what the Nats would be able to get from Jackson.
After losing the first game of the double-header, Jackson led the Nats to their only win of the series, allowing one run over seven innings. With Joe Ross out for the season and Stephen Strasburg coming back from a minor injury, the Nats need Jackson to continue to pitch well and fill out the back-end of the rotation.
Another encouraging aspect from the series was Ryan Zimmerman‘s continued resurgence. In the first game on Sunday afternoon, Zimmerman hit two homers, breaking the tie with Frank Howard for most home runs in DC baseball history. Zimmerman also got his 905th career RBI, tying Tim Wallach for the most RBI’s in franchise history. Zimmerman has long been the face of the Nationals, and he is now breaking franchise and DC records seemingly every night.
The Miami Marlins are coming off of a series win against the Cincinnati Reds. This is an interesting time for the Marlins, as the franchise is currently in the process of being sold. The trade deadline is also this afternoon, so they may sell off a few of their players as well.
While big-name players, such as Giancarlo Stanton, are unlikely to be traded, at least until the new ownership group takes over, they have several players who would be valuable to contenders. It will be interesting to keep an eye on both the Nats and Marlins throughout this afternoon, as they are both expected to make some moves.
The Nats and Marlins have played each other six times this year and the series have been pretty evenly matched with both teams winning three games. If this series is anything like their previous matchups, we are in for an entertaining series between two division rivals.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at five key storylines for what should be a competitive three-game set between the top two teams in the NL East.