Jul 12, 2013, 8:01 PM EDT
|USA Today Sports Images|
Here's the situation the Nationals have put themselves in: After dropping three of four in Philadelphia, they now have to take two of three in Miami or else go into the All-Star break one game over the .500 mark (at best). Considering they were four games over at the start of the week, that would be a significant disappoint.
The Nationals have no one to blame but themselves for this predicament, and they better be careful not to overlook the Marlins, who may own the NL's worst record but who have been playing much better baseball of late. Did you know Miami is 20-16 since May 31, tops in the NL East? (The Nats, if you're wondering, are 20-18 since then.)
The good news: Stephen Strasburg is on the mound for his final start of the first half, and he's facing his favorite opponent. In 10 career starts against the Marlins, Strasburg is 5-2 with a 2.77 ERA, including a dominating performance against them this year on Opening Day.
I'm not in Miami this weekend, taking a couple of days off before heading up to New York for the All-Star festivities. Please enjoy the conversation as always here…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at MIAMI MARLINS
Where: Marlins Park
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 185
CF Denard Span
SS Ian Desmond
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.
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- Fister could be ready for season's first week
- Zimmermann leads Nats against Yankees' Sabathia
- Injuries highlight the importance of rotation depth
- Gio Gonzalez starts strong, but Astros top Nationals
- Bryce Harper repping new eye black company
- Gonzalez faces Astros under the lights in Viera
- Should Desmond be the Nationals' No. 2 hitter?
- Strasburg settles down, Nats rout Cardinals 11-1