WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Based on what the National League standings looked like a month ago, the surprise team in the playoff race has got to be the Miami Marlins.
The Marlins have used an amazing stretch to climb to within 4 ½ games of the second NL Wild Card after being double-digit games out for most of the season, including just three short weeks ago.
Miami took a tough series opening loss to the Washington Nationals but will look to bounce back and start a new winning streak on Tuesday night in our nation’s capital.
Despite Monday’s setback, the Marlins have still won 13 of their last 17 games.
Only the MLB-best Los Angeles Dodgers have a better record since late May than Miami, who bottomed out at 13 games below .500 before gradually turning their season around.
GAME INFO: First pitch 7:05 PM, Nationals Park
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RHP Vance Worley (2-3, 5.70 ERA) vs. Nationals RHP Edwin Jackson (4-3, 3.38)
Worley has come on strong after struggling early in the season.
He’s already beaten the Nationals twice during the month of August, with the wins coming on Aug. 2 and Aug. 8.
He gave up just one run and eight hits in a combined 13 innings between the two starts, logging a win each time out.
After spending Spring Training with Washington, Worely caught on with the Marlins and has been with the club for the majority of the season.
Jackson has been a pleasant surprise for the Nationals after joining the team in July.
He has a tidy 2.93 ERA through seven starts with Washington, including a 1.89 ERA over his last three outings.
During his career, Jackson has struggled when facing the Marlins.
He holds a 1-7 record with a 5.87 ERA in 14 appearances against Miami, including nine starts.
ROUNDING THE BASES
- Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton is 4-for-9 in 13 career at-bats against Jackson but has yet to homer against the righty.
- Stanton was named the NL Player of the Week on Monday, the second time he won the award during the month of August. He leads the majors with 50 home runs.
- Nationals veteran Howie Kendrick has gone 7-for-12 at the plate of his last three starts. He has one hit in four career at-bats against Worley.
- Marlins hitters that have faced Jackson in their respective careers are hitting just .226 (14-for-62) with no home runs against the veteran.