Adam LaRoche doesn't have much history with Miami Marlins' starter Brad Hand, against whom the Washington Nationals' left-handed hitting first baseman is 3 for 5 with a home run, and in a small sample size of at bats, he's hit lefties well early this season (3 for 10) after he struggled to hit left-handed pitching in 2013 (.198/.254/.313).
But LaRoche is sitting tonight as the Nationals take on Hand for the second time this season after putting up three runs on four hits in 3 1/3 IP against the 24-year-old Marlins' lefty last week in D.C.
Starting at first tonight for the Nats is Tyler Moore, who was called up over a week back when Scott Hairston was placed on the disabled list. Moore hasn't exactly crushed left-handed pitching so far in his major league career, posting a .220/.275/.381 line vs LHP in 93 games and 182 plate appearances so far in the majors.
Last year at Triple-A Syracuse, however, Moore posted a .366/.451/.707 line in 41 ABs vs LHPs.
• Here's the Nationals' lineup for the first game of three with the Marlins:
#Nats lineup @ #Marlins: Rendon 3B, Frandsen LF, Werth RF, Harper CF, Desmond SS, Moore 1B, Espinosa 2B, Leon C, Zimmermann P— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 14, 2014
No word yet from Nationals' Manager Matt Williams on whether or not it's a planned day off for LaRoche, or if he's sitting since there's a left-hander on the mound. Through 12 games and 53 plate appearances this year, the 34-year-old infielder has a .311/.415/.556 line with two doubles and three home runs.
Taking the mound for the Nats tonight is right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, who got knocked around last time out against the Fish, surrendering seven hits, two walks and five earned runs in 1 2/3 IP in the nation's capital.
In the 27-year-old starter's career, he has a (4-3) record with a 3.97 ERA, 14 walks (1.79 BB/9) and 57 Ks (7.29 K/9) in 12 starts and 70 1/3 IP against Miami over which he's held Marlins' hitters to a .254/.298/.405 line.
In Marlins Park, the Wisconsin-born starter is (2-1) with a 3.00 ERA, two walks (0.86 BB/9) and 12 Ks (5.14 K/9) in 21 career innings pitched. In Miami, he's help opposing hitters to a .231/.256/.346 line. Zimmermann makes his fourth start in the Marlins' home tonight at 7:05 pm EDT.