|MIAMI ( LEBLANC )|
WASHINGTON ( ZIMMERMANN )
|955||MIAMI||+230||Ov 7.5,+100||+195||Ov 7,-110|
|956||WASHINGTON||-260||Un 7.5,-120||-215||Un 7,-110|
|vs Right-handed Starters||0-1||-1||0-1||0.0||0.103||0.133||2.0||0.192||0.250|
|Past 7 Games||0-2||-2||0-2||0.0||0.123||0.180||2.5||0.204||0.283|
|Past 7 Games||2-0||+2||0-2||2.5||0.204||0.283||0.0||0.123||0.180|
|4/1/2013||NOLASCO(R)||@ WASHINGTON||STRASBURG(R)||0-2||L||225||7 ov||U||3||3||0||5||4||0|
|4/3/2013||SLOWEY(R)||@ WASHINGTON||GONZALEZ(L)||0-3||L||210||7 un||U||4||5||1||6||7||1|
|4/4/2013||LEBLANC(L)||@ WASHINGTON||ZIMMERMANN(R)|| |
|4/5/2013|| ||@ NY METS|| || |
|4/6/2013|| ||@ NY METS|| || |
|4/7/2013|| ||@ NY METS|| || |
|4/8/2013|| ||ATLANTA|| || |
|4/9/2013|| ||ATLANTA|| || |
|4/10/2013|| ||ATLANTA|| || |
|4/5/2013|| ||@ CINCINNATI|| || |
|4/6/2013|| ||@ CINCINNATI|| || |
|4/7/2013|| ||@ CINCINNATI|| || |
|4/9/2013|| ||CHI WHITE SOX|| || |
|4/10/2013|| ||CHI WHITE SOX|| || |
|4/11/2013|| ||CHI WHITE SOX|| || |
|MIAMI: HITTING: Ozzie Guillen takes over as manager for the newly named Miami Marlins, who will open their new retractable-roof Marlins Ballpark in 2012. Indoor games could generate more offense, but the fences are pretty deep (340' to left, 384' to 392' power alleys, 416' center and 335' right). New SS JOSE REYES led the NL with a .337 average and posted a career-best .384 OBP. Malcontent HANLEY RAMIREZ will reluctantly move to 3B, but hopefully he will play harder under Guillen than he has under the previous two skippers. OF GIANCARLO STANTON hit 34 HR last year and will drive in 100 if Ramirez stays healthy. OF LOGAN MORRISON cranked 23 bombs, but his batting average dipped to .247 with this new-found power. 1B GABY SANCHEZ fizzled after August 1 (.211 BA), but still had 19 HR and 78 RBI. OF EMILIO BONIFACIO swiped 40 bases and led the team with a .296 average, but he'll move down the order because of Reyes. C JOHN BUCK and 2B OMAR INFANTE's jobs are secure, but 22-year-old prospect MATT DOMINGUEZ might start 2012 in Triple-A instead of sitting and watching Ramirez and Sanchez at the corner infield spots. |
STARTING PITCHING: JOSH JOHNSON is dominant when healthy, but he's made only 88 starts over the past five seasons. His shoulder feels great after surgery last year, and he expects to take the mound on Opening Day. MARK BUEHRLE followed his former manager and signed a 4-year, $58M deal with Miami. The 33-year-old lefty was 13-9 with a 3.59 ERA last year, his 11th straight season of 200+ IP and 10+ wins. RICKY NOLASCO once again had 10 wins and a strong K-to-BB ratio (3.4), but also sported an 8.18 ERA and 1.61 WHIP in his final eight starts. ANIBAL SANCHEZ posted a second straight productive season, fanning 202 batters in 196.1 innings. He did give up twice as many HR (20) as he did in 2010 though. CARLOS ZAMBRANO will begin 2012 in the rotation, but where he ends up is anybody's guess. If Guillen can motivate him, Zambrano has plenty of innings left in his 30-year-old arm.
RELIEF PITCHING: The signing of HEATH BELL to a three-year deal gives the Marlins a reliable long-term closer for the first time since Robb Nen in the mid-'90s. Bell's numbers could suffer a bit with the move to a smaller ballpark and an alarming drop in strikeout rate (11.1 in 2010 to 7.3 in 2011), but he still throws 94 mph. STEVE CISHEK will be the main set-up man for Bell and could see a handful of saves, converting all three opportunities last year and fanning 55 batters in 54.2 innings. MIKE DUNN is the lefty set-up man in this bullpen. He has great stuff (100 K in 86 career innings), but remains extremely wild (53 walks in those 86 IP).
|WASHINGTON: HITTING: The Nats were among the eight worst teams in the majors in runs (3.88 per game), BA (.242), OBP (.309) and OPS (.691). Much of that had to do with the first two spots in the batting order hitting .285 OBP and .283 OBP respectively. OF ROGER BERNADINA (.301 OBP) and SS IAN DESMOND (.298 OBP) were the regular 1-2 hitters in the order. $126 million OF JAYSON WERTH was also to blame, batting .232 with a meager 58 RBI in 561 at-bats. 3B RYAN ZIMMERMAN also missed two months with an abdominal problem and had a down year with 12 HR and 49 RBI in 101 games. But OF MIKE MORSE had a breakout season, leading the Nats in batting (.303), HR (31) and RBI (95). 1B ADAM LaROCHE suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in June, but should be fully healed. Washington is counting on a pair of talented 24-year-olds to contribute a little more in 2B DANNY ESPINOSA (.236 BA, 21 HR) and C WILSON RAMOS (15 HR in 389 AB). |
STARTING PITCHING: STEPHEN STRASBURG is back fully healed from Tommy John surgery, but will reportedly be limited to 160 innings in 2012. That's still enough time to strike out 150 batters and win a dozen games though. In sending four quality prospects to Oakland, the Nats paid a huge price for GIO GONZALEZ. They hope he can overcome his control issues and become an elite No. 2. Well-traveled EDWIN JACKSON was also brought in to help bolster the rotation. He joins his sixth different club since 2008, but Jackson is just 28 years old and was serviceable after being traded to St. Louis last year (5-2, 3.58 ERA). JORDAN ZIMMERMANN was in the same boat as Strasburg last year, coming off elbow surgery and limited to 161.1 innings. But in that time, he had a team-best 3.18 ERA and 4.0 K-to-BB ratio (124 K, 31 BB). JOHN LANNAN remains the top lefty in the Nats rotation with a team-high 10 wins in 2011. He dominated left-handed hitters last year (.211 BA, 55 K in 185 AB), but still needs to improve his weak 1.4 K-to-BB ratio (106 K, 76 BB).
RELIEF PITCHING: DREW STOREN had a phenomenal first year as a full-time closer, saving 43-of-48 games with a 2.75 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 74 K in 75.1 innings. His role will remain the same in 2012 once he returns from the 15-day DL (elbow) to start the season. Newcomer BRAD LIDGE was limited to 25 innings because of shoulder problems last year, but he appears to be the closer until Storen returns. The Nats have arguably the best set-up man in the game in TYLER CLIPPARD, who led the majors with 38 holds and posted a 1.83 ERA and 0.84 WHIP for the season. He held opponents to a .162 average and fanned 104 batters in 88.1 innings of work. Lefty SEAN BURNETT saw a huge decline in his numbers, as his ERA rose from 2.14 to 3.81 and his WHIP jumped from 1.14 to 1.32. This was mostly due to a diminishing strikeout rate (8.9 to 5.2 last year).
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (MIAMI-WASHINGTON) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Marlins-Nationals Preview* ===========================
By JEFF MEZYDLO STATS Senior Writer
Miami (0-1) at Washington (1-0), 4:05 p.m. EDT
The Washington Nationals are showing why they might again have one of the best pitching staffs in the majors.
Looking to start 3-0 for the first time since 2008, the Nationals have a chance to become the first team in 50 years to record a shutout in each of their first three games Thursday in their finale against the visiting Miami Marlins.
Two days after Stephen Strasburg and two relievers held Miami to three hits in Washington's opening 2-0 victory, Gio Gonzalez and three others yielded four in Wednesday's 3-0 win.
The Nationals franchise last shut out an opponent in three straight games May 24-26, 1989, while in Montreal. Washington is looking to become the first team to record shutouts in its first three games since the 1963 St. Louis Cardinals.
Washington led the NL with a 3.33 ERA in 2012 and has allowed two extra-base hits, struck out 14 and walked four in the first two games of 2013.
"It's not really hard to fathom. I look at this staff and that's what I expect," reliever Ryan Mattheus said. "I see (starting pitchers) 1 through 5. And then the bullpen down there, the seven guys we've got. I think there's going to be a lot of shutouts."
Miami, meanwhile, is trying to avoid being shut out in three straight games for the second consecutive season after having been blanked from Aug. 12-14.
"We've got a couple of guys that may be pressing a little bit," first-year manager Mike Redmond said. "But, you know, we'll be fine. We've just got to continue to go out there and keep grinding it out and get that first run across and take a little pressure off the guys."
The Nationals hand the ball to Jordan Zimmermann, who is coming off the best of his first four major league seasons by going 12-8 with a 2.94 ERA in 32 starts. The right-hander is 1-3 with a 4.43 ERA in eight starts versus Miami.
After hitting a pair of homers Monday, Washington's Bryce Harper went 2 for 4 Wednesday. He's batting .326 with six home runs during an 11-game hitting streak against the Marlins.
He's hitless in three at-bats against Miami starter Wade LeBlanc.
The left-hander spent a month in the Marlins bullpen last season when he was called up from the minors in July, then went 1-4 with a 4.18 ERA in nine starts.
"He's a guy who is not able to rely on his (velocity)," Redmond told the Marlins' official website. "He's got to move the ball in and out, and he's got to change speeds. When he does that, and we've seen him do that, he's really good. And he's able to eat up some innings for us."
Though LeBlanc is making his first start against the Nationals, he's thrown five shutout innings of relief.
Placido Polanco and Juan Pierre each have two of the seven hits for the Marlins, who went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position Wednesday.
Making matters worse, Miami could be without first baseman Casey Kotchman after he left Wednesday's game with an apparent hamstring injury.
|Last Updated: 9/1/2014 10:49:51 AM EST|