The Nationals are 0-2, outscored 20-9. Dukes is still riding the pine. Bonifacio's still ripping it up. Milledge has never looked more like a corner outfielder. Shawn Hill is scheduled to start Friday. Stan loves Phillies fans.
Well, at least Felipe Lopez had an 0-fer.
Check out my preview of the series here for breakdowns on the Marlins' hitters and bullpen. Here's my look at the Marlins' starter on getaway day and prediction.
On the Mound
Chris Volstad is 6'7", but he's not what you expect. Tall guys usually throw hard; he doesn't. His average fastball sits at 90 mph. Tall guys, especially young ones, usually have big command problems; he doesn't. He walked just 9.9% of batters faced in his rookie year, which isn't great but is fine.
As a rookie last year, he threw 84.1 innings with a 2.88 ERA. Such a low ERA is rarely a function purely of repeatable skill, and in his case it certainly was not. He profited from triple good-fortune .282 batting average on balls in play (.300-.310 is typical, especially for a groundball pitcher); his HR per flyball rate was a silly 3.9% (normal is around 11% and any difference is due to luck, park effect or both); and his runners stranded rate was up at 77.1% (only the most elite pitchers can consistently maintain rates above 70% or so).
He's a fastball, curveball, change-up guy who gets by on excellent groundball rates (53.4% last year). He struck out just 5.55 per 9 last year, and his minor league rates were really no better. He projects as a very efficient, innings-eating mid-rotation stalwart, and he may be that as early as this year, but he's never going to dominate anyone.
Season record: 2-0
Volstad sees a little regression to the mean, while Cabrera's wildness matches up well against Marlins hackers like Cantu, Maybin, Bonifacio, and Hermida. The result is a respectable, close game, but the Marlins pull it out with a late rally off an already overworked bullpen full of relievers not named Bergmann or Mock. This one feels like 7-5 Marlins.