One day after the Washington Nationals announced the shutdown of Stephen Strasburg for the season, the NL East leaders turn to Edwin Jackson as they face the Miami Marlins in the rubber match of a three- game series.
In 28 starts this season, Strasburg has posted a record of 15-6 with a 3.16 ERA in 159 1/3 innings. It had been speculated that he had an innings limit of no more than 180, although the Nationals did not give an exact number.
Strasburg didn't make it past the third inning of Friday's start against Miami and on Saturday manager Davey Johnson informed the 24-year-old blossoming ace of the team's decision.
"He's had a great year," said Johnson before Saturday's game against Miami. "My job is to do what's best for the player. This is what's best."
Jackson has won his last two starts and is coming off a shaky performance against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. The right-hander gave up seven hits and four runs over 5 2/3 innings. On the positive side, he has fanned 37 and walked only six batters over his last four outings.
Over his career, Jackson is 1-5 in seven games (6 starts) against the Marlins.
Ricky Nolasco, who is 3-1 over his last five outings, gets the call for Miami. The righty is 10-5 with a 3.88 ERA in 19 career appearances (17 starts) against the Nationals.
Yesterday, Jayson Werth tied the game in the bottom of the ninth inning with a solo homer and pinch-hitter Corey Brown won it in the 10th with an RBI single, as the Nationals rallied for a 7-6 win.
The Marlins held a 6-5 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth when the game was delayed due to rain. When the contest got back underway over 2 1/2 hours later, Werth homered off Heath Bell to tie the game.
"Once I got (the count) to 2-2, I figured he wasn't gonna mess around with any breaking stuff," Werth said. "He's got a good fastball, he likes to work up in the zone. I got a pitch that was up just enough."
The Nationals won the contest during their next at-bat. Chad Gaudin (3-2) gave up singles to Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond before intentionally walking Danny Espinosa to load the bases. LaRoche was thrown out at home when Kurt Suzuki grounded into a fielder's choice. Brown stepped to the plate and hit a fly ball to right. Giancarlo Stanton tried to make the catch on the run, but the ball bounced out of his glove.
"It's frustrating and embarrassing and tired, losing games day in and day out the way we lose games," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We battle back all day, wait for three hours and lose a game like that. That doesn't hurt. It (ticks) you off. You feel like you're wasting a day of your life at the ballpark, getting paid for."
Jesus Flores, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman also homered for the Nationals, who bounced back from a 9-7, 10-inning loss in the series opener on Friday.
Washington's Ryan Zimmerman extended his hit streak to 13 games Saturday.
The Nationals lead the season series, 9-8. This is the final meeting of 2012.