The Florida Marlins had a disappointing past couple of games, but there’s reason to believe they can quickly turn things around.
The Marlins expect to have Mike Stanton(notes) back in the lineup Tuesday night, as Anibal Sanchez(notes) looks to continue his dominance over the Washington Nationals in the opener of a three-game series.
Stanton doubled and scored in a season-opening 6-2 win over the New York Mets on Friday, but he missed the next two games with a tight left hamstring and Florida was outscored 15-6 in losing both.
The second-year outfielder, who hit 22 homers in 100 games last season, hopes to return for this contest after the Marlins got Monday off.
“This club has been built on pitching and defense and we failed in both departments,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said.
One of the pitchers Rodriguez is counting on to help carry the team is Sanchez (13-12, 3.55 ERA in 2010).
The right-hander had a strong spring, going 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA while striking out 15 in 19 innings. Sanchez also is coming off an encouraging 2010, finishing with career highs in wins, starts (32) and innings (195). He made only 32 starts in his previous three seasons combined, as he was slowed by a number of shoulder injuries.
Despite his injury setbacks over the years, Sanchez is 5-0 with a 2.28 ERA in 13 career starts against Washington. He had a 1.05 ERA in four starts versus the Nationals last season, and he’s 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA in six outings against them in Miami.
The offseason addition of Jayson Werth(notes) to Washington’s lineup might not be enough to help Jim Riggleman’s club beat Sanchez. Werth is hitting .105 lifetime against Sanchez with 13 strikeouts in 19 at-bats.
Sanchez helped the Marlins go 13-5 against Washington last season, with victories in 10 of the last 11 meetings.
Three-time All-Star Hanley Ramirez(notes) hit .358 with six home runs, 11 RBIs and 16 runs with a .456 on-base percentage against the Nationals in 2010. He’s batting .471 lifetime against scheduled starter Jason Marquis(notes).
Stanton hit .381 with five home runs and 11 RBIs in 12 games against Washington as a rookie last season.
The Nationals are arriving in Florida after dropping two of three in Atlanta in their season-opening series.
Washington is coming off a sloppy performance in Sunday’s 11-2 loss, missing relay throws, botching double plays and allowing fly balls to drop in the outfield.
Unlike Sanchez, coming off his first healthy season in years, Marquis (2-9, 6.60) spent most of last season on the disabled list with an elbow injury.
Marquis, who made at least 28 starts in each of his previous six seasons, started 13 games in 2010 and posted the worst ERA of his career. The 12-year veteran was incredibly inconsistent, going 0-6 with a 17.28 ERA in six outings and 2-3 with a 2.36 ERA in the other seven.
In two starts against the Marlins last season, Marquis was 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA.