The last-place Florida Marlins have already won the season series against the Nationals, no matter what happens the final four games between these teams. But the Nationals also don’t want to get completely steamrolled, especially at Nationals Park, where they have lost seven of the first eight games to Florida this season, including the first two of this series.
“Obviously, you don’t want to get swept,” second baseman Danny Espinosa said. “So if we can salvage a win out of here and be able to take one and at least end this on a positive note before going into Philadelphia, that would be great.”
The Nationals have lost five in a row overall to Florida and haven’t defeated the Marlins since claiming a 5-2 victory on July 28. They have also lost four of the five series this season. And, since returning home after winning five in a row, the Nationals have only been able to score one run in their past 22 innings against the Marlins.
“I think it’s really just coincidental, nothing you can put a finger on,” reliever Tyler Clippard said of the Marlins’ dominance of the Nationals. “That particular day they were better. It’s weird thing how it works out sometimes.”
While the Nationals have made it a goal to pass the New York Mets for third-place, the Marlins are coming right after them. The Marlins are 10-4 against Washington this season and have held the Nationals to two runs or fewer six times this season and they are just two games behind them in the win column.
“I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. They beat us, I guess,” shortstop Ian Desmond said of the Marlins’ success against them. “It’s baseball. Sometimes, you go 0-for-20 and sometimes you go, [5-for-10]. They’ve got our number right now, but what’s to say next year, we beat them across the board, the same way, the next five. However long the sample size you guys are talking. The next sample size, maybe we’ll take it. You never know.”