A Sweep of Miami Marlins Would Be Sweet for Washington Nationals

By James Williams
Brad Mills – USA Today Sports

For the Washington Nationals beating the Miami/Florida Marlins has never been easy. But as the Nationals open a very important homestand tonight,now would be a great time to sweep the Fish.

Miami comes to Washington after winning only three out of their last ten games. Meanwhile, the Nationals return home winners of five out of their last six games. They are also back at .500 (65-65) with 16 straight games against sub .500 teams. If this team is going to make a run for the playoffs it needs to be now.

Here are the pitching match ups for the series:

Tuesday – Miami: Nate Eovaldi  2-4, 3.82 ERA vs. Washington: Ross Ohlendorf 2-0, 2.58 ERA
Wednesday – Miami: Henderson Alvarez  2-3, 3.86 ERA vs. Washington: Stephen Strasburg 6-9, 3.00 ERA
Thursday – Miami: Tom Koehler  3-8, 4.45 ERA vs. Washington: Gio Gonzalez (WAS) 7-6, 3.72 ERA

All three games in the series will be night games with the first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. at Nationals Park.

On paper it looks like the Nationals have a big edge over Miami in the pitching, and recently Washington has found their hitting shoes. While, the Marlins are having issues scoring runs, something Nationals fans can relate to for most of this season.

At the moment Miami’s  offense continues to be the worst in the league and they remain remain in last place in the National League East with a NL-worst record of 49-80.

A draw for this series is the chance for fans to see two of baseball’s brightest young outfield stars in Washington’s Bryce Harper and Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton. Harper made his first All-Star game this season at the age of 20 and is hitting .274 with 18 home runs. Stanton, an All-Star in 2012, is just 23 years old himself and leads the Marlins in home runs (16), RBI (40) and runs scored (45).

Washington leads the season series  6-3.  Nationals fans recall that they opened 2013 season by shutting out the Marlins twice before sweeping a three-game series. That series was the only meeting between the teams in Washington thus far this season. Miami is an even 3-3 at home against the Nationals. The Marlins took two of three when the teams met most recently in the final series before the All-Star break.

So this is a big series for Washington at home, and if they have one big run left in them then it better begin tonight.

Rant Sports columnist James Williams is a seven time Emmy Award Winning producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @Wordmandc and join him at Google +

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