While Chris Volstad(notes) hasn’t pitched particularly well for the Florida Marlins in recent weeks, he’s still found a way to win. He’s done the same against the Washington Nationals since the start of last season.
Volstad will try to extend his unbeaten run against Washington when the Marlins and Nationals continue their weekend series Saturday night in South Florida.
Washington (15-17) snapped a three-game skid with a 3-2, 10-inning win Friday. Tyler Clippard(notes) fanned all six batters he faced in the seventh and eighth and Drew Storen(notes) and Sean Burnett(notes) escaped a jam in the 10th after Adam LaRoche’s(notes) sacrifice fly broke a 2-all tie.
“The last couple of years they’ve gotten the better of us,” Clippard said following the Nats’ third win in 15 games versus Florida.
Though his numbers aren’t overwhelmingly positive, Volstad (2-1, 6.00 ERA) may be the key to preventing another defeat.
Volstad has just 29 career wins, but five have come against Washington - two more than he has against other opponent. All four of those victories have come since the start of last season, and his 4.79 ERA over the six starts in that span has been balanced by 44 runs of support from the Marlins.
The right-hander failed to get a decision against Washington on April 6, when he was tagged for four runs and four hits, and walked four over five innings of a 7-4 loss in Miami.
Volstad has won two of his last three starts, despite surrendering 12 runs and 18 hits in 17 1-3 innings. He didn’t get a decision in Monday’s 6-5 victory over St. Louis after giving up five runs and seven hits in five innings.
Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth(notes) went 0 for 2 with three walks Friday, and is 2 for 16 with six strikeouts in his last five games to drop his batting average to .226. Werth has had virtually no success against Volstad, going 1 for 22 with seven strikeouts.
The left-hander allowed six runs in 5 1-3 innings of a loss to New York on April 9. In four starts since, he’s yielded five runs in 25 1-3 innings for a 1.78 ERA.
On Monday, he gave up three hits and didn’t walk a batter in eight innings of the Nationals’ 2-0 win over San Francisco.
“Mixing in and out. Changing speeds quite a bit. Trying to keep guys off-balance,” Gorzelanny said. “…That’s obviously key to an outing like this.”
Gorzelanny’s only career decision over Florida came in May 2007, while with Pittsburgh. He scattered five hits over seven innings in the Pirates’ 7-0 victory.
The Nationals placed center fielder Rick Ankiel(notes) on the 15-day disabled list following Friday’s win, retroactive to Tuesday, with a sprained right wrist, but Washington may not miss him. Jerry Hairston tied a season high with three hits in the series opener, and tracked down a long fly by Mike Stanton(notes) to send the game into extra innings.
Hairston, who raised his average 33 points to .216, is 2 for 8 against Volstad.