|10:35 AM PT11:35 AM MT12:35 PM CT1:35 PM ET13:35 ET17:35 GMT1:35 10:35 AM MST12:35 PM EST1:05 PM VEN21:35 UAE12:35 PM CT, May 26, 2019
Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia Attendance: 26,365
Nationals aim for third straight win over Marlins
Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals
- Since 2013, the Nationals have gone 42-16 at home against the Marlins. This is the best home record by any team versus any divisional opponent over that span.
- The Nationals have lost five straight entering this series, despite having more hits than their opponents over these five games (40-39). The team had two five-game losing streaks last season, but has not lost more than five straight since June 2016 (seven straight).
- From May 1 -- May 16, the Marlins hit one home run; every other MLB team had at least nine in this span. Since May 17, the Marlins have homered at least once in six straight games, tied with the Red Sox for the longest active streak in MLB.
- In 93 career plate appearances against the Miami Marlins, Adam Eaton has a .505 on-base percentage. There are only two active players with higher career marks against any franchise (minimum 75 PA) -- Shin-Soo Choo, .549 versus Marlins; Andrew McCutchen, .506 versus Orioles.
- Juan Soto reached base in all four plate appearances yesterday, coming a home run shy of the cycle while also drawing a walk. During his seven-game hit streak (since May 17), Soto's 12 hits rank second in MLB (Xander Bogaerts, 13) and his five doubles are tied for most in MLB (Brandon Drury).
- In Garrett Cooper's first 38 career games, he had no home runs. He has since homered in both his 39th and 40th career games, including a go-ahead grand slam in the ninth inning yesterday. He was inserted into the #2 spot in the lineup for the first time six games ago, and the M's haven't lost since.
- Cubs beat Giants 1-0 for 5th win in row
- Verlander has Detroit reporter barred
- Scherzer set to return to Nats' rotation
- A's going for 3-game sweep of Yankees
- Mets trying to finish sweep of Indians
Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto is hitting .500 -- 17-for-34 -- during a red-hot nine-game hitting streak.
On Sunday, Soto will lead the Nationals against the visiting Miami Marlins. The Nationals have won the first two games of a series that ends on Monday.
Soto said he is seeing the ball well.
"I'm just trying to hit the ball," Soto said, "and let's see what happens."
Nationals manager Dave Martinez said he likes Soto's approach of late.
"When he starts using the middle of the field, he's really good," Martinez said. "He's been doing that."
In Sunday's game, Soto will face Marlins left-hander Caleb Smith (3-1, 2.38 ERA). Smith has been Miami's best pitcher this season and has had at least six strikeouts in all nine of his appearances.
Smith, who made his major league debut in 2017, is averaging a career-best 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings. He has faced Washington just once, beating the Nationals on April 19, striking out eight in six innings while allowing no walks and one run.
Washington will counter with right-hander Erick Fedde (0-0, 2.87 ERA), who has not faced the Marlins this year. In fact, for his career, he is 0-0 with a 4.15 ERA against the Marlins, making just one appearance.
This season, Fedde has been used primarily out of the bullpen. He will make just his second start of the season against Miami, and he has been outstanding.
Out of his six appearances, he has not been scored on in four of them, gave up one run in five innings in another and had just one subpar performance.
Fedde, a first-round pick in 2014, is part of the Golden Age of Las Vegas baseball. The list of Vegas-area players currently in the majors -- all of them first-rounders -- also includes sluggers Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant and Joey Gallo.
The rebuilding Marlins, meanwhile, would love to have one of those sluggers -- or just anybody who can provide consistent power. They rank last in the majors in homers with 35, and they are the only team in the National League without a triple all season.
"We're not really a home-run club," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said in what has to be viewed as an understatement.
The Marlins, who have the worst record in the National League, have improved lately. They won a season-best six games in a row before dropping two straight against Washington.
Part of the improvement has come from third baseman/right fielder Brian Anderson, who slumped to start the season.
Anderson, who is now hitting .231, has hit three homers in the past five games and has five for the season.
"I think (his swing) is more straight," Mattingly said of Anderson. "When he's diving (at the plate), he is pushing balls to right field and not getting the barrel at the right angle. But now it seems like he has cleaned that up. He's been having better at-bats."
Meanwhile, Washington's bullpen, which has the worst ERA in the majors, will at least be rested on Sunday following Patrick Corbin's second career complete game. That will likely come into play on Sunday as Fedde is not expected to go deep into the game due to the fact he has been in the bullpen most of the year.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 25, 2019
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Published: 2015-05-28 13:51:00
Updated: 2016-07-13 10:41:59
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