What to Watch for: 7/15
Washington Nationals (50-35) vs. Miami Marlins (42-45)
RHP Stephen Strasburg (9-4, 2.82) vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco (8-6, 4.35)
The Nationals dropped a 2-1 decision to the Marlins to level the series at a game apiece last night. All-Star Stephen Strasburg takes to the hill to try to help earn at least a split of the four-game set this afternoon in South Beach.
1. Lombardozzi, 2B
2. Harper, RF
3. Zimmerman, 3B
4. LaRoche, 1B
5. Morse, LF
6. Espinosa, SS
7. Bernadina, CF
8. Solano, C
9. Strasburg, RHP
MEN OF STEAL
Including another two last night, the Nationals lead the Major Leagues with 18 stolen bases in July (Miami is 2nd with 15). The Nationals have swiped 10 bags over the last three contests and have 18 stolen bases in 20 attempts this month. Washington swiped just 45 bases in the first three months of this season, which ranked tied for 13th in the National League (tied for 23rd in MLB).
GIO SHINES BUT TAKES LOSS IN HOMECOMING START
Gio Gonzalez, from nearby Hialeah, FL, turned in another solid outing, however, the Nationals’ offense stalled en route to a 2-1 loss on Saturday at Miami. Gonzalez (12-4) took the loss despite logging his 13th quality start with six innings of two-run ball, fanning nine without issuing a walk. Washington posted its only run via a Jesus Flores RBI-single in the fifth inning that scored Ian Desmond. Last night’s loss marked the ninth time this season the Nationals provided run support of two runs or fewer behind Gonzalez (he owns a 3-4 mark in those contests). It’s worth noting that Gonzalez is 9-0 this season and 40-2 during his career when his offense puts up more than two runs in his starts.
FISHING FOR A W
Starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg looks to get back in the win column today against the Miami Marlins. In two starts in South Florida, Strasburg owns a 2-0 record with a 0.00 ERA, with both starts coming at the old park. This will be his first time pitching at Marlins Park.