If there was ever a time for the Washington Nationals to use the term must-sweep series, it would be for this one against the Miami Marlins.
Sitting at .500 yet again, the Washington Nationals are on the brink, if not over the brink of their 2018 season. If any series was a must-sweep, it’s this weekend’s series with the Miami Marlins.
On the podcast, they discuss the following:
- Does the series with the St Louis Cardinals put the final nail in the coffin?
- Why have the Nats struggled to develop their pitching depth?
- Which players should we look out for on the Marlins?
- Are there Nationals who need to bust out of their slumps?
- Preview and predict each pitching matchup
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The Marlins roster has been depleted by the firesale in the offseason, but they’ve also had injuries to some of their veterans too. This has led to the like of Rafael Ortega being required to step up to the big leagues. Over the last 30 days, Ortega is the only Marlins hitting above .262, but he has also showcased elite speed with four steals in six games.
The Fish have the worst ERA in the National League, but Dan Straily has been a picture of consistency for them this year. With a 4.42 ERA, he rarely gives up more than four runs, but also rarely shuts a team out. He’ll look to keep his team in the game against Max Scherzer on Friday before they try and beat the depleted Nats bullpen.
While outfield depth has been a strength of the team throughout the season, of late, some of their reliable guys have been slumping. Adam Eaton is hitting .180 in his last 19 games, and even when he does get hits, they’re not for extra bases. Juan Soto may be going through his first rough patch with a .143 average in his last 9 games. Both will look to right the ship against some of the Marlins struggling pitchers.
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The Washington Nationals sit right games back in the NL East now. They need to find a way to gain a game on their foes to stand any chance of getting back in the hunt.