Washington Nationals - PlayerWatch
RHP Stephen Strasburg (7-9) pitched well Tuesday in a tough-luck loss to the Marlins. He threw seven innings, allowing four hits, two walks and one run. Strasburg has more wins against the Marlins -- seven -- than against any other team, but he could not add to his total on this night.
RHP Tanner Roark, who will pitch Wednesday in the series finale against the Marlins, is 12-7 with a 2.67 ERA in 24 career starts. That qualifies Roark, 27, as one of baseball's most underrated pitchers. The Illinois native entered pro ball as a 25th-round pick in 2008 and has exceeded expectations since making his big league debut last summer as a reliever. He is 1-1 with a 2.42 ERA in five career games vs. the Marlins. Roark has been especially good in the second half -- 9-1 with a 1.46 ERA. He also is one of the better road pitchers in the game: 9-3, 3.15 ERA.
Jayson Werth did not start Tuesday's game due to a swollen right ankle. However, he was used as a pinch hitter in the ninth, flying out to right field. Werth, who hopes to start Wednesday, has been hot this month, hitting .360 with 10 multi-hit games. He looked like a bust in 2011, when he signed a seven-year, $126 million deal with Washington. He played poorly that first year and was hurt most of the second season. However last year, he had a career high .931 OPS. This year, his OPS is .821, which is in line with his .836 career number. But, at age 35, it remains to be seen if he can continue to go strong through the end of the 2017 season, when his contract ends.
3B Ryan Zimmerman is still at least two weeks away from returning. Zimmerman, who went on the disabled list July 23, has been seriously injured twice already this season. He missed 44 games between April 13 and June 3 due to a fractured right thumb, and now he is dealing with a right hamstring strain. When he started at third base or left field this season, the Nationals are 32-17. Without him, they are 25-30.