Washington Nationals leadoff batter Kyle Schwarber is on an incredible hot streak, and so is his team.
Schwarber has hit 12 homers in his past 13 games, including two long balls in Washington’s 7-3 win over the host Miami Marlins on Thursday. The Nationals, meanwhile, are 10-1 in their past 11 games.
They will go for their sixth straight win on Friday night in Miami. The Nationals (36-36) are back at .500 for the first time since they were 12-12.
As for Schwarber — the reigning National League Player of the Week — he is one of just four players in major league history with at least eight homers and 15 RBIs in a five-game stretch.
“When you’re doing something like this, you sit back and laugh because you don’t want it to end,” said Schwarber, who has 21 homers this season and has averaged 37 long balls per 162 games over his seven-year career.
“But the reality of the game is that I probably won’t do this all year. It’s physically impossible,” he said. “I just want to give this team my all.”
Meanwhile, Miami, last in the National League East, has lost four straight games and has scored just five runs during that span. Going back a bit further, the Marlins have lost eight out of their past 10 games.
The good news for Miami on Thursday was the revival of rookie second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr., who slugged a three-run homer. He had entered the game hitting just .212 in June after batting .290 in April and .278 in May.
“He is confident,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He believes he can hit. He’s not going to let one or two bad games deter him.”
Miami is hoping to get outfielder/first baseman Garrett Cooper back from the injured list this weekend or perhaps next week. He is currently playing for Triple-A Jacksonville on a rehab assignment as he recovers from a back injury.
“It won’t take him a ton of at-bats,” Mattingly said of Cooper’s ability to return to Miami quickly.
Washington will start lefty Jon Lester (1-2, 3.96 ERA) on Friday. Miami will counter with right-hander Pablo Lopez (3-4, 2.86).
Lester is 1-2 with a 3.74 ERA in eight career starts against the Marlins. In four games in Miami, he is 1-1 with a 5.64 ERA.
The Nationals are 5-5 when Lester starts this year. In his most recent start, he beat the New York Mets 6-2, allowing just two runs in six innings. He struck out six and walked none in just his second quality start of the year.
Lopez is 2-2 with a 5.45 ERA in eight career starts against the Nationals. For his career, he has been much better at home (2.91 ERA) than on the road (5.55 ERA).
The Marlins are 7-8 when Lopez starts this year. He also won his most recent start, allowing just one hit and no walks in seven innings as the Marlins beat the Chicago Cubs 11-1 last Saturday.
That was the most recent win for the Marlins.
–Field Level Media