National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, August 28th
(All times Eastern)
Washington Nationals (77-50) at Miami Marlins (58-71), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Washington - Stephen Strasburg (15-5, 2.85)
Miami - Ricky Nolasco (9-12, 5.07)
(Sports Network) - It's not a matter of if Stephen Strasburg's season is going
to be cut short, it's now a matter of when.
The Washington Nationals' ace, though, will be on the hill on Tuesday when his
club opens a brief two-game series with the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park.
Strasburg's rookie season in 2010 was cut short in late August due to an elbow
injury that required Tommy John surgery and he returned toward the end of last
season to make five starts.
He has been healthy so far in 2012, but based on what the team did with Jordan
Zimmermann in a similar situation last season, the belief is that the
Nationals will limit Strasburg to around 160 innings. Although, there has
never been an official announcement, general manager Mike Rizzo has said he
will shut him down when he thinks he's had enough.
"It's funny. Nobody talks to me personally about it," Strasburg said of the
supposed team-mandated innings limit. "I can either scour the Internet, watch
all the stuff being said on TV or I can just keep pitching."
Through 25 starts -- eight more than he made over his first two seasons -- the
right-hander is 15-5 with a 2.85 ERA in 145 1/3 innings of work.
Strasburg showed no signs of slowing down in his last trip to the hill
last Tuesday against Atlanta, as he gave up a run and four hits in six
Strasburg tossed six scoreless innings to beat Miami the last time he faced it
and has dominated the Marlins over the course of his career. In fact he has
not allowed a run to them since Sept. 17 of last season - a stretch spanning
five starts that lasted six innings apiece.
Washington could have used Strasburg this past weekend when they were swept in
a three-game set by the Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals have now lost
four consecutive games and have seen their lead in the National League East
over the Braves dwindled to five games.
The Marlins, meanwhile, have been one of the bigger disappointments in the
league this season and are 20 games back of the Nationals in the division.
Miami, though, avoided a sweep on Sunday, as it ended a four-game losing
streak by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers, 6-2.
On Tuesday, the Marlins will turn to righty Ricky Nolasco, who is 9-12 with a
5.07 ERA. Nolasco did not get a decision last Tuesday in Arizona, but was not
good, as he allowed five runs and six hits in five innings of a 6-5 win.
He is just 1-6 with a 6.70 ERA in eight starts since the All-Star break.
Nolasco has faced the Nationals 18 times (16 starts) and is 9-5 with a 4.26
ERA. In two outings against Washington this season, the right-hander is 0-2
with a 6.35 ERA.
Washington is 7-6 this season versus the Marlins.
08/28 10:30:25 ET