Left-hander Trevor Rogers, who has pitched well since returning from a back injury, will start on Saturday afternoon when the Miami Marlins try to even their three-game series against the host Washington Nationals.
Miami (59-86) is 12-2 against Washington (50-94) this year, but the Nationals rallied from a four-run deficit to beat the Marlins 5-4 on Friday in the series opener.
Rogers (4-11, 5.35 ERA) is trying to finish strong in what has been a disappointing season overall. However, since returning from a five-week absence, Rogers has a 2.98 ERA in three starts.
Unfortunately for Rogers, the Marlins lost all three of those games. In fact, Miami is 5-17 this year when he starts.
Perhaps facing Washington is what Rogers needs. In seven career games against the Nationals, Rogers is 3-2 with a 2.80 ERA. This year, Rogers has been even better against the Nationals, going 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA in three starts.
Washington will counter with right-hander Erick Fedde (6-10, 5.24 ERA).
In six years in the majors, Fedde, 29, has never had an ERA lower than 4.29. However, much like Rogers could be happy with Saturday’s matchup, the same could apply to Fedde. In nine career starts against the Marlins, Fedde is 4-1 with a 1.86 ERA.
Miami finally broke its losing streak against Fedde this year, beating him 2-1 on April 27.
In his most recent outing against the Marlins, Fedde posted a quality start on July 3, allowing two runs in six innings. The Marlins won that game 7-4.
Washington’s victory over the Marlins on Friday was a rare bright spot in a lost season for the Nationals. But, as bad as it has been for the team with the worst record in the majors, Friday showed why there is at least some hope for the future.
Rookie shortstop CJ Abrams, cult-hero first baseman Joey Meneses and rocket-armed right fielder Lane Thomas all made key plays for the Nationals.
Abrams stroked a game-tying, two-run triple in the seventh inning, shortly after Meneses hit just the eighth inside-the-park homer in Nationals history. Thomas made a dynamic no-hop throw to cut down a runner at third base.
Meneses has become a fan favorite because he is a 30-year-old rookie who is hitting .323 with nine homers and 23 RBIs in 38 games since making his major league debut on Aug. 2.
“He just keeps on hitting,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “I can’t say enough about the guy.”
Meanwhile, Marlins manager Don Mattingly is concerned about his team’s poor baserunning, including pinch runner Luke Williams getting picked off in the eighth inning on Friday.
“It’s hard to explain,” Mattingly said. “I don’t know if guys want to make something happen or if they are not focused.
“I know we’ve had a couple of guys slip, but (the poor baserunning) is not something you are proud of as a ballclub. If you get beat, that’s one thing, but you can’t give away free outs and expect to win games.”
–Field Level Media