The right-hander will be trying to win his second straight start and provide some stability in the final month of a rocky season as the visiting Marlins continue their three-game series against the New York Mets on Wednesday night.
Florida was hoping for big things from Nolasco after the right-hander won 15 games with a 3.52 ERA last year, but he’s often had a hard time, averaging fewer than six innings per start and needing a brief trip to the minors to get straightened out in late May and early June.
Nolasco (10-8, 5.27 ERA) hasn’t exactly leveled off, as the Marlins went 3-3 in his six August starts. He was 0-1 with an 11.77 ERA in the three defeats, but 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA in the victories.
His first September outing was somewhere in between, as he allowed three runs in six innings of an 8-3 win over Atlanta on Thursday. A similar start would be an improvement on his performances against the Mets this year after he went 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA in two April outings against New York.
The Marlins (73-65) have managed to stay afloat despite Nolasco’s struggles, but they remain six games behind Philadelphia in the NL East and 5 1/2 games behind Colorado in the chase for the wild card.
They’re trying to remain within striking distance of the Phillies, whom they face six times in the final two weeks of the season, and their recent run has helped. Florida has won five of its last six, including a 4-2 win over the Mets on Tuesday.
“We know we have to win every day, but we don’t try to put a lot of pressure on us,” Ramirez said. “We stay in the race. That’s all it’s about.”
Misch (1-1, 3.25) earned his first major league win Thursday at Colorado, allowing two runs - both on homers - and four hits in seven innings of an 8-3 victory over Colorado.
“The key was I minimized the traffic on the bases,” Misch said. “There wasn’t any one on when they got the home runs.”
The Mets (62-76), whose season has been decimated in part by several key injuries, did get one of their stars back in Tuesday’s game. Carlos Beltran(notes) went 1 for 4 in his first action since June 21.
“It will probably take him a few games to really find his rhythm at the plate,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “I think once that starts he will get on track, so to speak. He looked pretty good.”