Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Miami0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 292
Washington0 1 1 2 1 0 3 0 x 8140
  W: M. Scherzer (16-5)   L: D. Straily (4-6)
4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, August 17, 2018
Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia  Attendance: 37,106

Nationals hope to build on win vs. Marlins

According to STATS
According to STATS

Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals

  1. The Marlins had a season-high 22 hits in a July 8 matchup with the Nationals, that being their only victory over the Nats in the first nine matchups (8.31 team ERA in those nine games). They have since won the last two games with the Nats, allowing just one run combined in the two wins.
  2. Before going 2-5 on their road trip, the Nationals had gone 7-3 on a ten-game home stand. The team has hit .264 at home this season, and just .238 on the road; that differential in home/road team batting average ranks second largest in the National League, behind only the Rockies in Coors Field.
  3. During Starlin Castro's five-game hitting streak, his batting average has declined from .282 to .281. He now has 132 hits on the season, and has reached that total in each of his nine MLB seasons. He and Robinson Cano (13) are the only active players to reach that mark in every one of their MLB seasons (career started earlier than 2014).
  4. Daniel Murphy is hitting .417 (15-for-36) with a 1.071 OPS during his nine-game hitting streak. His .333 average against the Marlins this season is his best against any divisional opponent (minimum 20 PA).
  5. Since making five consecutive quality starts, Dan Straily has failed to throw 6.0 innings in each of his last four starts. Straily has nine walks in his last ten innings pitched, and has walked multiple batters in six of his last eight starts.
  6. Since last season, Max Scherzer has made seven starts against the Nationals and amassed a 4-1 record, a 2.25 ERA, .181 BAA, and 0.89 WHIP. That .181 BAA is the second lowest by any pitcher against a single opponent over that span (Chris Sale vs. TB, .163; min. seven starts).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 8/17/2018 thru 8/19/2018
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

MIAMI -- The Washington Nationals woke up Thursday with a losing record, nine games off the lead in a division they were supposed to dominate.

Washington (61-61), which sits third in the National League East, visits the last-place Miami Marlins (48-75) on Friday. The Nationals lost four games in a row before a win Thursday, while Miami has dropped five straight.

After a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, Nationals players sat in their clubhouse, searching for answers.

"We're trying to figure out how not to miss pitches," Nationals shortstop Trea Turner told The Washington Post. "If you get pitches to hit, you have to take advantage."

On Friday, the Nationals will try to take advantage of Marlins right-hander Dan Straily (4-5, 4.42 ERA). His road ERA of 3.93 is about one run better than his home mark of 4.94.

Straily faced the Nationals earlier this year -- on July 26 inside Marlins Park -- and picked up a no-decision. He allowed five hits, including a pair of homers, as well as three walks and three runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Max Scherzer, who pitched seven scoreless innings against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday gets the start Friday. Scherzer is starting on his normal four days of rest.

Scherzer is 15-5 with a 2.19 ERA, and he is one of the favorites to win the Cy Young award this season. Scherzer, a 34-year-old right-hander, has already won three Cy Young awards and is a six-time All-Star.

He is 10-3 with a 3.25 ERA in 17 starts versus the Marlins, including 3-0, 3.43 this season.

Miami, meanwhile, enters the weekend with a tired bullpen. Wednesday's starter, Jose Urena, was ejected after his first pitch hit Ronald Acuna in the elbow. Urena was suspended six games for the incident. Acuna had homered in five straight games, including four long balls in the first three games of the Braves' sweep.

After Urena was ejected, the Marlins bullpen had to cover eight innings.

"It worked out terrible for our team," Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto said. "We've been taxed the past week. Guys have been used a lot, and having to throw eight innings (of relief) when Jose would usually pitch six or seven innings, really taxed our bullpen."

Perhaps the day off Thursday will help Miami's bullpen get the rest they need, but they can ill afford a short outing from Straily.

Washington's bullpen isn't in great shape either. Six of its relievers are on the disabled list, including All-Star Sean Doolittle and set-up man Kelvin Herrera.

Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper is the focal point of Washington's offense. The 25-year-old impending free agent leads Washington in homers (30) and RBIs (74) and ranks second in OPS (.889).

Rookie left fielder Juan Soto leads Washington in OPS (.962) and is batting .298 with 17 doubles and 15 home runs in 76 games. Soto, by the way, is just 19 years old.

The Nationals also have speed as Turner leads the way with 32 steals and outfielder Michael A. Taylor has 24 swipes.

Washington players who have OPS numbers north of .800 and should be available Friday include Harper, Soto, first baseman Matt Adams, second baseman Daniel Murphy, third baseman Anthony Rendon and infielders Ryan Zimmerman and Mark Reynolds.

Miami, meanwhile, has three starters on the disabled list: third baseman Martin Prado, center fielder Lewis Brunson and pitcher Caleb Smith.

Realmuto leads the Marlins with an .855 OPS. No one else on the team is above .800, with first baseman Derek Dietrich second at .764.

Updated August 17, 2018