The great debate surrounding Stephen Strasburg’s innings restriction begins in earnest on Sunday as the Washington Nationals phenom makes his first start in the second half of the season. Strasburg has lost his last three outings and sits at 99 innings in 2012. The 23-year-old, who is expected to be shut down after 160-170 innings, will face the Miami Marlins for the second time this season.
After besting All-Star Gio Gonzalez in Saturday’s 2-1 triumph, Miami will look to do the same against Strasburg. Miami Marlins snapped a three-game skid with the victory while preventing Washington from moving 17 games over .500 for the first time in seven years. Logan Morrison sat out Saturday’s tilt against the left-handed Gonzalez, but will likely be re-inserted versus the right-handed Strasburg.
Washington vs Miami
When: 1:10 PM ET, Sunday, July 15, 2012
Where: Marlins Ballpark, Miami, Florida
TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Washington), FSFL (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Stephen Strasburg (9-4, 2.82 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Ricky Nolasco (8-6, 4.35)
Strasburg yielded three runs for the third straight start, but walked away with the loss in a 5-1 setback to Colorado on July 6. He has pitched well away from home, posting a 5-2 mark with a 2.94 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. Strasburg scattered four hits over six scoreless innings in his last outing versus Miami.
Nolasco has enjoyed considerable success versus Washington, registering a 9-3 mark with a slim 1.10 WHIP. The 29-year-old has yet to face the Nationals this season, but has won his last two starts following a three-game skid. Nolasco permitted one run on nine hits in six innings in a 3-2 win over St. Louis on July 6.
1. Carlos Lee recorded his first RBI for his new team with a run-scoring single in the fourth inning on Saturday. Lee, who was traded to Miami on July 4, is 1-for-4 in his career versus Strasburg.
2. Washington’s Jesus Flores had an RBI base hit for the second straight game of the series. Flores has enjoyed success versus Nolasco, going 4-for-7 (.571) in his career. Adam LaRoche (12-for-38, .316) and Ryan Zimmerman (9-for-33, .273) have also fared well against the hurler.
3. Miami RHP Edward Mujica is expected to be activated from the disabled list prior to Sunday’s game. Mujica has been sidelined with a fractured right pinky toe since June 29.