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5/12 - Florida Marlins vs. Washington Nationals


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A sluggish Marlins offense couldn't get anything going on Friday night in a 6-0 loss. Florida looks for its bats to wake up in the second game of the series on Saturday at RFK Stadium.


The Nationals ended their eight-game losing streak on Friday. The Marlins, meanwhile, opened their 10-game, three-city road swing on a losing note.


The Marlins are now 4-3 on the season against the Nationals.


Ricky Nolasco makes his third start and fourth appearance of the season on Saturday.


At 1-0 with a 7.30 ERA, Nolasco continues to build back into a comfortable groove after spending time on the disabled list with a sore elbow. The right-hander has logged 12 1/3 innings thus far, and he's surrendered 19 hits. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is good, 10-to-3, but opponents are batting .373 against him.


As a rookie last year, Nolasco was 3-1 with a 4.82 ERA while facing Washington.


The Nationals are starting rookie Matt Chico, who makes his third start of the season against Florida. The left-hander is 0-1 with an 11.42 ERA in those meetings with the Marlins.


In two May starts, Chico is 0-2 with 6.75 ERA, giving up eight runs in 10 2/3 innings.


Pitching matchup

FLA: RHP Ricky Nolasco (1-1, 7.30 ERA)

Even though he gave up six runs on 10 hits his last time out -- against the Dodgers on Sunday -- Nolasco was able to log six innings and toss 100 pitches. The right-hander continues to build back his arm strength after a DL stint with a sore elbow. The 24-year-old was 3-1 with a 4.82 ERA against the Nationals last year.


WAS: LHP Matt Chico (2-4, 6.03 ERA)

Chico has given up 11 earned runs in 8 2/3 innings against the Marlins this season. Chico already knows what he has to do to get better -- throw his breaking pitches for strikes. In fact, Chico learned through pitching coach Randy St. Claire that only 40 percent of the curveballs and sliders that he throws are for strikes. The curveball, especially, is a pitch that has given Chico problems since Spring Training.


Player to watch

Washington catcher Brian Schneider had three hits, including an RBI double, on Friday night.




Since I seem to be the damn good luck charm for the Washington Nationals, I'm sitting this one out.



Go Marlins!

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