Game Preview - Nationals v Marlins
|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, August 1, 2017
Marlins Park, Miami, Florida Attendance: 17,742
Nationals' Scherzer goes for 13th win vs. Marlins
Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins
- The Nationals and Marlins have split their six games this season, with both teams winning two of three at home. All three of Miami's wins this season have been decided by one run.
- Washington avoided a sweep by winning game two of its doubleheader with Colorado yesterday, 3-1. The Nationals have 12 wins this year when scoring three runs or fewer, tied with the Cardinals and Dodgers for the most in MLB.
- The foursome of Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman are on the brink of becoming only the second foursome in the last 60 years to record a .300+ batting average and a .900+ OPS before August 1 of a season (minimum 3.1 plate appearances per team game). They would join Nomar Garciaparra, Bill Mueller, Trot Nixon and Manny Ramirez of the 2003 Red Sox.
- The Marlins won three out of four against Cincinnati at Marlins Park, winning its first series at home since taking two of three against the Nationals on June 19-21.
- Jose Urena has never started against the Nationals but is 1-0 with a 6.10 ERA in six career relief appearances. He has a 6.00 ERA in five starts this month, including a 7.07 ERA in three starts since the All-Star break.
- Gio Gonzalez is 7-3 with a 2.19 ERA in 13 career starts against the Marlins, his lowest ERA versus any single team (minimum 10 starts), and the fourth lowest against the Marlins all-time (minimum 10 starts).
- Strasburg mulls skipping All-Star games
- Kemp rejoins Dodgers, Gonzalez to Braves
- Yanks keep Sabathia on 1-year, $10M deal
- Nats 2B Murphy hopeful of playing opener
- Padres sign RHP Lyles, designate P Wood
MIAMI -- Perhaps Brandon Kintzler was the final piece.
The Washington Nationals, who beat the Miami Marlins 1-0 on Monday on a combined two-hitter by Gio Gonzalez and reliever Sean Doolittle, have a massive 14-game lead in the NL East but are thinking World Series and not just a division title.
That was why they acquired Kintzler, 32, from the Minnesota Twins for minor league left-hander Tyler Watson, 20, consummating the deal just before the non-waiver deadline on Monday afternoon.
Kintzler, who was 2-2 with a 2.78 ERA and 28 saves for the Twins, will combine with left-hander Sean Doolittle and righty Ryan Madison in late relief for Washington. Both Doolittle and Madison came over from the Oakland Athletics on July 16.
Washington's bullpen, which started this week with the worst ERA in the National League (5.07), should be better going forward.
"This gives us options," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said of the acquisition of three potential closers in two weeks. "The better a guy performs, the more I can slide him into certain spots."
Efforts like the one Gonzalez turned in Monday night certainly help the bullpen as well. The left-hander took a no-hitter into the ninth inning and wound up yielding one hit and three walks in eight-plus innings.
"I wish (Gonzalez) could have gotten (the no-hitter). I love the way he pitches," Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper said. "He pounds the strike zone and does everything he can to help his team win. He's passionate."
Kintzler is expected to arrive at Marlins Park in time for Game 2 of the series on Tuesday, which will feature Washington right-hander Max Scherzer (12-3, 2.23 ERA) against Miami left-hander Chris O'Grady (2-1, 3.68).
Scherzer enters the start as the National League leader in strikeouts (201), batting average allowed (.170), innings pitched (145 1/3) and OPS against (.548).
In 11 career starts against the Marlins, Scherzer is 6-3 with a 3.50 ERA. In six career starts at Marlins Park, he is 4-2 with a 2.11 ERA.
For O'Grady, it will be his fifth major league start and his first against Washington. O'Grady, 27, has absolutely no hype behind him, but he has not pitched poorly since making his major league debut on July 8.
A soft-tosser, O'Grady turned in his best performance Thursday in a 4-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds. He pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just five hits and two walks while striking out five.
The Marlins, who are not a contender this year, made some moves in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline that they believe will help them in the future.
In exchange for shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and right-handed relievers AJ Ramos and David Phelps, Miami received eight prospects.
"We were pleased with what we were able to accomplish," Marlins executive Michael Hill said. "With 'Hech,' we had a healthy (shortstop) JT Riddle, and we felt we could get pieces into our system. With our two relievers (Ramos and Phelps), this time of year is when you can get the most impact with taking them to the market.
"Beyond that, there wasn't anything we were trying to get accomplished in terms of touching our core."
Updated August 1, 2017