Nationals (50-51) vs. Marlins (44-59) series info:
Game 1: Thursday, July 26 at 7:10 p.m. ET (MASN/106.7 The Fan)
Game 2: Friday, July 27 at 7:10 p.m. ET (MASN/106.7)
Game 3: Saturday, July 28 at 7:10 p.m. ET (MASN/106.7)
Game 4: Sunday, July 29 at 1:10 p.m. ET (MASN/106.7)
Thursday: Tommy Milone (2018 Debut) vs. Dan Straily (4-4, 4.02)
Friday: Max Scherzer (13-5, 2.43) vs. Pablo Lopez (2-1, 5.09)
Saturday: Gio Gonzalez (6-7, 3.94) vs. Trevor Richards (3-5, 4.41)
Sunday: Jeremy Hellickson (4-1, 3.44) vs. Jose Urena (2-10, 4.63)
What to watch for:
Strasburg back to the DL
Originally scheduled to start in Thursday’s series opener, Stephen Strasburg was placed on the disabled list with a pinched nerve in his neck. The right-hander made just one start after spending six weeks on the shelf with shoulder inflammation.
Starting in his place will be 31-year-old lefty Tommy Milone. The journeyman starter has spent the entirety of the 2018 season in the Nationals’ minor-league system after posting a 7.63 ERA across 17 appearances (8 starts) for the Brewers and Mets last year.
Turner mired in a slump
Trea Turner had a rough series in Milwaukee. He went 0-4 in the first game, failing to run out a botched bunt and earning a benching in the second game. Turner was inserted into that game as a pinch runner and was immediately caught stealing. Finally, he wrapped up the three-game set with an 0-4 day in the series finale.
This series was only the latest bump in the road for Turner, who’s hitting .104 (5-48) with only two extra-base hits since July 8. He hasn’t stolen a base since June 29 and has been thrown out five times in his last 21 games.
A big series… with the Marlins?
The Marlins may be tied for the second-worst record in the National League, but they’re the final team standing in the way of Washington and the trade deadline. The Nationals enter this series one game under .500 and seven games back of the Phillies for the division lead, making this a pivotal series that could decide whether the Nats are buyers or sellers.
Miami is the only team the Nats have won a series against since they took two of three from the Orioles on June 19-21. If they can’t gain some ground in the NL East standings over the next few days, some stars may find themselves donning new jerseys next week.
The Marlins lead the all-time series (2005-present) 123-122, but the Nats have taken six of seven from Miami this season. Washington has a chance to pass Miami in the all-time series with at least three wins in this weekend series.