The simple fact that the Nationals have only six more wins than a team who traded away basically all of their stars after last year, says it all about this year’s team. They have really underwhelmed, failing to win often.
The Marlins, on the other hand, have been a little better than many expected. Though they are 15 games under .500 and not likely headed for the postseason, they have been decent.
The most important part of the next 61 games for Washington, is to show they can be competitive. They are relatively far out of the NL playoff race and will need to start improving their play ASAP to have a chance to climb back in. This is the last chance they have to show Bryce Harper that they can compete. Four postseason appearances and four immediate exits to not bode well for trying to suede your superstar to stay in your city.
The Nats will send Stephen Strasburg to the mound for his fifteenth start of the season. The former phenom has had a down year, following a pair of 15-4 records in 2016 and 2017, he is just 6-7 this year. In 85 1/3 innings of work, Strasburg has struck out 101 batters while walking just 21. He has posted an ERA of 3.90. In his return to action after 6 weeks off with injury, Strasburg allowed eight runs on six hits over four and two-thirds innings against the Braves.
This has been a very trying year for the Marlins, as many expected it to be. On the bright side, they are ahead of the last-place Mets and have four players batting over .280. JT Realmuto, who they decided to keep around as a potential building piece for the future, has continued his strong play, driving in a team-best 49 runs. Their pitching, however, has been awful to say the least, as they don’t have a pitcher with more than five wins or more than 93 strikeouts.
They will send Dan Straily to the mound for his sixteenth start of the season. He has struck out 63 batters while walking 37 in 78 1/3 innings of work. Straily has posted an ERA of 4.02. He was very impressive in his last start against the Rays, allowing just one run on four hits in seven innings of work. He still has time to bounce back for a third consecutive “strong” campaign.
Nationals break even at .500, win
A good night for the Nationals, as Stephen Strasburg evens his record to .500 at 7-7, while the Nats do the same, at 51-51. The bats of Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper will help lift Washington to victory tonight, as they both go yard.
Six innings and ten strikeouts is all you can ask for from Stephen Strasburg on a night like this, with two runs allowed. The bullpen will close the door, and they will be on to the next one.
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