Nationals-Marlins Preview

Since his stint in the minors last month, Florida Marlins

starter Chris Volstad appears more refreshed. A matchup with the

Washington Nationals could keep him looking that way.

The right-hander will try to win his third consecutive start and

fourth in a row over the Nationals in Wednesday night’s finale of a

three-game series.

Volstad was 1-6 with a 5.22 ERA over an 11-start span before the

Marlins (66-65) sent him down to Triple-A New Orleans on July 6. He

was recalled almost three weeks later when Nate Robertson was

released.

Since his return July 25, Volstad (8-9, 4.61 ERA) has won four

of five decisions and has a 1.93 ERA in posting back-to-back

victories. He allowed one run and no walks over eight innings in

Friday’s 7-1 victory over NL East-leading Atlanta.

“In the beginning of the season, I was pitching well,” Volstad

told the team’s website. “I had a couple of rough ones where I

didn’t give the team a chance. Now, I just feel like I’ve been

getting deeper into games and keeping it close.”

Volstad earned one of those victories since returning against

Washington, a 9-5 win Aug. 11. He’s 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three

starts against the Nationals (57-76) this season and recorded his

second career complete game in his only home matchup, throwing a

four-hitter.

While Volstad has thrived recently, former teammate Scott Olsen

(3-7, 4.91) has dropped his past five starts. In the Aug. 11 loss,

the left-hander was tagged for a season-worst seven runs while

failing to make it out of the second inning.

Olsen, who spent his first four seasons with the Marlins, gave

up three runs – one earned – over six innings in a 4-2 loss to St.

Louis on Friday, the same day the Nationals learned star rookie

Stephen Strasburg was done for the season. The team announced that

Strasburg will have Tommy John surgery Friday in Los Angeles.

“There’s no words that I can put in place here that would

indicate we could possibly replace Stephen,” manager Jim Riggleman

said. “But we have to do it a different way, different names,

different staff members who will go out there and fulfill the

rotation until Stephen comes back.”

Olsen has a 7.40 ERA during his losing streak but has also been

given a combined four runs of support. He’s 1-2 with a 6.93 ERA in

five starts against the Marlins, who snapped a three-game skid with

Tuesday’s 1-0 win in 10 innings.

After producing one hit in the first nine frames, Florida got

two in the final inning, with Chad Tracy’s single scoring Hanley

Ramirez.

A strained right groin might keep Marlins second baseman Dan

Uggla out of his third straight game. Uggla, who had started the

team’s previous 129 games, might not return until Friday, manager

Edwin Rodriguez told the team’s website.