Series Preview: Miami Marlins at Nationals (July 1-4, 2022)
Series preview as the Washington Nationals begins their four-game homestand by hosting the Miami Marlins.
The Washington Nationals begin their four-game homestand by hosting the Miami Marlins (34-40), and only the Marlins. The Marlins, a roster carried by their pitching staff, has a seven-game lead over the Nationals in the division. The recent injury to Jazz Chisholm Jr. makes the matchup even as Chisholm is one of the few position players on the Marlins competing for an All-Star appearance. Anyways, on to the four-game pitching matchups between the Marlins and Nats.
Friday, July 1, RHP Josiah Gray (6-4, 3.82 ERA) vs LHP Trevor Rogers (3-6, 5.86 ERA) | First Pitch: 6:05p ET
Josiah Gray has already faced off against Miami three times this season and has improved each time. His last start, a five scoreless inning performance was one of his best this season. Something notable about his last few five starts is that he’s getting more groundballs. I’ve said time and time again that the combination of flyballs and walks will ruin Gray’s performances, and he seems to have cut down on both. While there is still room for improvement, Josiah’s recent performance deserves more appreciation.
Two of Rogers’s best starts this year have come against the struggling Washington Nationals. While his rookie campaign was fantastic, Rogers has struggled in 2022. He is getting fewer whiffs across the board, and his slider has lost some spin to it. Additionally, his slider and changeup are getting less drop than before. The real change is the results on his fastball. Last season it was one of the better pitchers in the majors. Now, it is getting crushed, with a .434 xwOBA against (Mike Trout has a .432 wOBA for comparison).
Saturday, July 2, RHP Jackson Tetrault (2-1, 4.24 ERA) vs LHP Daniel Castano (0-1, 2.57 ERA) | First Pitch: 4:05p ET
Tetrault’s most impressive statistic from his three starts so far is his ability to limit walks. His 4.24 ERA so far ranks exactly average. His ERA is ballooned by his rough debut against Atlanta, but he was exceptional against the Phillies and Rangers. If he can keep up what he did against the Rangers and Phillies, and the Nationals will be very happy.
Daniel Castano has been a swingman for the Miami Marlins. He was much better as a reliever, but he is not the worst option as a starter. His promotion to the rotation is due to injuries, but what he does determines if he can potentially stick in the Marlins bullpen.
Sunday, July 3, RHP Erick Fedde (5-5, 4.40 ERA) vs RHP Pablo López (5-4, 2.89 ERA) | First Pitch: 1:35p ET
Erick Fedde has faced Miami once this season. He allowed three hits and two runs over 4.2 innings. Walks were his undoing, but hopefully, he gets everything together and has a better start against a Marlins lineup that is missing Joey Wendle and Jazz Chisholm Jr.
While Alcantara has drawn national attention for his performance in this Marlins rotation, Pablo López has quietly put up remarkable numbers. His biggest knock has been his innings pitched, but he looks to be on track to beat his career high 111.1 innings, with 87.2 already under his belt this season.
Monday, July 4, LHP Patrick Corbin (4-10, 6.06 ERA) vs LHP Braxton Garrett (1-3, 5.24 ERA) | First Pitch: 11:05a ET
What has not been said about Patrick Corbin this season? He is coming off what is by far his best start all season. That was against a young Pirates team though. His slider was sharp and if he can keep that going, he may start to rebound.
Braxton Garrett’s numbers look poor on the surface, but the underlying numbers are pretty impressive. His ERA is pumped up by an unsustainable .411 BABIP and he has good peripherals to suggest that once he stops allowing the unlucky hits, Garrett will be even a solid starter. I hope that takes a few more starts for the Nationals' sake.
Josh Bell is crushing the baseball currently, posting the 11th highest wOBA, and 5th highest in the National League.
Luis Garcia’s 124 wRC+ in June ranks 9th among all shortstops. His defense and inability to walk leave a lot to be desired still.
Erick Fedde is the Nationals' best pitcher by fWAR.