Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins
When and Where: Saturday, April 20, Marlins Park, Miami, Fla., 6:10 p.m. EDT.
Max Scherzer has not been at his dominating best of late, but that could change Saturday night when he tries to win his seventh consecutive start against the Miami Marlins.
Scherzer out to extend mastery of Marlins
Scherzer (1-2, 3.33 ERA) has not started a season 1-3 since 2015, his first with the Nationals, but facing the Marlins has usually been what gets the three-time Cy Young Award winner has gotten back on track of late.
Some Titans hanging out with Nats Ace Max Scherzer! pic.twitter.com/u2iEMy2qSN
— THSTitansBaseball (@TUSC_Baseball) April 13, 2019
Scherzer is 6-0 with a 2.20 ERA in his last six starts versus Miami, striking out 45 in 41 innings and limiting Marlins hitters to a .212 batting average in those victories. The right-hander has also been the beneficiary of tremendous run support in those games as the Nationals have scored at least five runs in every game and 59 overall.
He is 12-3 with a 2.98 ERA lifetime against the Marlins and has gone 6-2 with a 2.40 ERA in 10 road starts. Scherzer has fanned 67 in 63 2-3 innings of those games, while Marlins hitters have a collective .192 batting average.
Last season he tore through the Marlins five times, posting a 2.38 era. In the last three wins, Scherzer conceded two runs in 21 innings while striking out 28.
The righty did not get a decision Sunday versus Pittsburgh after giving up three runs and seven hits in eight innings of a 4-3 Nationals loss. After yielding three runs and nine hits while striking out 21 in 12 2-3 innings of his first two starts, Scherzer has been reached for seven runs and 15 hits with 14 strikeouts in 14 1-3 innings of the last two.
Scherzer did have two extra days off between starts after taking a comebacker off his leg in an April 7 start against the Mets, which may have contributed to him being off-kilter.
Martin Prado‘s .474 lifetime average against Scherzer (18 for 38) is the highest of any player with at least 25 at-bats against the right-hander.
Urena tries to build on positives from last start for Marlins
After three subpar starts to 2019, Jose Urena (0-3, 6.53) put forth a quality outing last time out but had nothing to show for it. The right-hander allowed a solo homer and scattered six other hits over seven innings, but he was long gone by the time the Marlins were on the short end of a 3-1, 14-inning loss to Philadelphia on Sunday.
— Kosi/Jarren/Martell SZN (@hurricanesmarsh) April 17, 2019
The good news was the outing knocked nearly three runs off Urena’s earned run average, but it also left him still winless in his career as a starter in March and April. Urena is 0-7 with a 5.37 ERA in 10 March and April starts.
Urena went 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA in three starts versus Washington last year and threw a two-hitter in the most recent one, a 12-1 rout in the nation’s capital Aug. 19. He did not get a decision against Scherzer at home May 25 after yielding four runs and five hits in six innings of Miami’s 9-5 loss.
Anthony Rendon is 4 for 9 versus Urena.
The Nationals are:
- 7-0 in Scherzer’s last seven starts vs. the Marlins.
- 39-15 in Scherzer’s last 54 starts vs. NL East teams.
- 19-7 in Scherzer’s last 26 road starts vs. sub-.500 teams.
The Marlins are:
- 6-15 in Urena’s last 21 home starts.
- 8-20 in Urena’s last 28 home starts vs. above-.500 teams.
- 0-5 in Urena’s last five starts during game 2 of a series.