Can Nationals' starter Stephen Strasburg bounce back and help Nats earn split?

Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

The Washington Nationals send Stephen Strasburg to the mound this afternoon in the nation's capital to take on the St. Louis Cardinals in the finale of the four-game set in Nationals Park. Can Strasburg bounce back from a rough outing in Miami?

After an 11-2 win in Florida last week, Miami Marlins' Manager Mike Redmond shared some thoughts on the approach his players took when facing Washington Nationals' '09 no.1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg last week in Marlins Park.

"It seemed like we had a nice plan going," Redmond told reporters after the Marlins scored six runs on eight hits in four innings against the Nats' starter.

"Guys were aggressive," Redmond said. "[Strasburg] threw quite a few fastballs early in the count and we were ready for him." - Marlins' Manager Mike Redmond on approach vs Strasburg

"Guys were aggressive," Redmond said. "[Strasburg] threw quite a few fastballs early in the count and we were ready for him."

Strasburg told reporters, including MASNSports.com's Dan Kolko, that it was in part the Marlins' aggressive approach but also his struggles with his command.

"Leaving pitches up," he said. "They came out real aggressive and they didn't miss. ... [They were] jumping on me early and piled up some singles there and obviously that that homer to [Giancarlo] Stanton didn't help."

Stanton's home run was a three-run blast in the bottom of the first that put the 2014 Nationals in an all-too familiar situation, down early and in need of a comeback.

"They came out swinging again and they hit the fastball. So, I'm thinking it's fastball command, throwing the ball where he wants to." - Matt Williams on Strasburg's struggles in Miami

"They came out swinging again and they hit the fastball," Nats' Manager Matt Williams said after the loss. "So, I'm thinking it's fastball command, throwing the ball where he wants to. It looked like the ball was up tonight. They put good swings on him though."

Nationals' Pitching Coach Steve McCatty agreed with Williams' assessment of Strasburg's issue in that outing, telling the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, the 25-year-old right-hander had no command of his heater.

"'Pretty simple,' McCatty said. 'Fastballs down the middle of the plate, they’re going to get hit.'"

This afternoon, Strasburg looks to rebound from that rough outing in the series finale with St. Louis.

In two career starts against the Cardinals before today, the Nationals' righty is (0-1) with a 2.08 ERA, two walks (1.38 BB/9) and 16 Ks (11.08 K/9) in 13 IP, over which he's held Cards' hitters to a .152/.188/.217 line.

Can Strasburg rebound from his rough outing in Miami and help Washington earn a split of the four-game set with St. Louis?

• Here's the Nationals' lineup that will take the field behind Strasburg today in D.C.:

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