Major League Baseball

Nats’ Strasburg aims to keep feasting on Marlins

MLB2MARLINS (32-51) AT NATIONALS (43-41)
6:05 p.m. ET; MASN 2, FS-F, MLB.TV

There are no sure things in the majors, but when Stephen Strasburg faces the Miami Marlins (+1.5), there is a very good chance his Washington Nationals (-1.5) are going to win.

Strasburg (9-4, 3.88 ERA) will aim for his 20th career victory over the Marlins when he starts at home on Wednesday.

The starter for the Marlins will be Sandy Alcantara (4-7, 3.86 ERA), who has lost all four of his previous starts against the Nationals.

Strasburg is 19-7 with a 2.97 ERA in 33 career starts against the Marlins. He has defeated them at least once every year dating back to his rookie season of 2010 and has not lost to them since September 2015.

This year Strasburg is 2-0, 2.40 in two starts against Miami. His last start also came against the Marlins, on Thursday in Florida, where he got the victory despite giving up four runs in seven innings.

“I’ve been saying it along — we have great chemistry in the clubhouse,” Strasburg told reporters after that 8-5 win. “We’re playing for each other. We are giving everything we have. The goal is to get better at the end of the year and not the start of the year.”

Alcantara also opposed Strasburg last week. He was tagged with the loss as he gave up homers to Matt Adams, Juan Soto and Victor Robles.

“A couple of breaking balls that didn’t do anything; they stayed right there,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly told reporters.

Alcantara has a career ERA of 9.00 against the Nationals. The right-hander was 0-2 last season and is 0-2 this year against them.

Current Washington batters are 24-for-70 (.343) with five homers against Alcantara. That includes Soto, who is 5-for-12 with two homers.

Miami hitters are just 36-for-182 (.198) against Strasburg with only one homer. Martin Prado has 37 at-bats against Strasburg, and he has just seven hits for an average of .189. Curtis Granderson is just 3-for-28 (.107) against Strasburg.

The Marlins’ Harold Ramirez had at least one hit in his first eight games against the Nationals, with three doubles among his 12 hits.

In the first game of the series Tuesday, Trea Turner had an RBI double with two outs in the last of the ninth to score Yan Gomes from first as the Nationals won 3-2. It was Washington’s 11th victory in 14 games.

“He is a big reason we are doing well,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said of Turner.

It was an emotional night for Washington starter Pat Corbin, who allowed one run in seven innings the day after the death of his good friend, Los Angeles Angels (-1.5) left-hander Tyler Skaggs.

The Marlins are also dealing with the death of Skaggs.

The tragedy brought up memories of the death of former All-Star pitcher Jose Fernandez in 2016. The Marlins played in Washington soon Fernandez died that year as well.

“We have a sense of what they’re going through, and really you just think about their families and what they’re going through right now,” Mattingly told MLB.com. “I don’t think there’s a playbook for how you go through it. You just try to get through the day.”

–Field Level Media

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