The last time the Washington Nationals dropped all three games of a three-game set to the Miami Marlins was back in late-May 2012, when the Fish swept the first series between the two teams in the inaugural season in Marlins Park.
After dropping the first two games of the current series in Miami, the Nationals go into the Sunday finale in danger of losing their third straight to the Marlins and the fifth straight overall after losing the second and third games of their three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals this week in D.C.
They do, however, have Hialeah, Florida's own Gio Gonzalez, on the mound today in Miami, eleven miles from the left-handers's hometown, and Gonzalez, 29, takes the hill in Marlins Park this afternoon with a streak of five-straight wins over the Marlins going back to April 13, 2013.
Over that stretch, the Nationals mention in the Game Notes for this afternoon's matchup, the lone lefty in the Nats' rotation has held Fish hitters to a 1.13 ERA with three scoreless starts in the five outings.
In his career, Gonzalez is (6-2) in eight starts against Miami, with a 1.67 ERA, 12 walks (2.00 BB/9) and 54 Ks (9.00 K/9) in 54 IP over which he's held Marlins' hitters to a combined .190/.239/.249 line.
The current Marlins' roster, in an admittedly small 107 plate appearance sample size, has a .234/.321/.330 line vs left-handers early this season, good for 10th/9th/14th across the line in AVG/OBP/SLG amongst the fifteen National League teams.
The Nationals will have to get it done against Dan Haren, a member of the 2013 Nats' rotation, who last year was (0-1) in one start against Washington with a 4.50 ERA and a .292/.333/.375 line against in six innings pitched.
Haren is (3-3) in seven career starts against the Nationals, with a 2.76 ERA in 42 ⅓ IP.
Nationals' left fielder Jayson Werth talked after Saturday's 8-0 loss about the Nats' struggles to put anything together on the offensive end.
"Just couldn't put it together," Werth said. "Seem like we're just not in sync offensively. We're not getting timely hits. We're getting good at bats and all that, but we need to sync up. Maybe not having our whole lineup together all year yet -- we're still going through it a little bit. Hopefully when we get [Anthony Rendon] back it will make a difference.
"But even then, we've got to score more runs, we've got to manufacture some runs and help us out. We're just not doing it right now."
Can the Nationals get it together before they move on to Atlanta and the start of a three-game set with the Braves?
Here's the Nationals' lineup for the series finale in Miami:
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