TV: FOX SportsFlorida
TIME: Pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.
MIAMI — The Washington Nationals just took a giant hose and cooled off the Miami Marlins, figuratively speaking.
Now, the Marlins (66-66) return home, damaged from a three-game sweep but still in the chase for the second and final National League wild-card spot, currently held by the Colorado Rockies.
“We were overmatched today,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of the Nationals. “We got buzz-sawed. Let’s move on.”
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Indeed, the Marlins, who had won four straight games before heading to Washington, will host the Philadelphia Phillies (49-83) on Thursday in the first of a four-game series.
The Phillies, who were swept in a doubleheader by the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, have the worst record in the majors.
Miami will start right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne (0-1, 3.70 ERA), who has impressed Mattingly this season by making 11 appearances, including two starts. He also has one save.
“He’s really valuable because he can do a lot of things,” Mattingly told the media on Wednesday. “He’s been our long guy. He’s also a guy who can step in and start, and he has also closed a game for us.
“I think the main thing is that he’s rubber-armed. He can pitch almost every day as long as he’s not throwing too many pitches.
“If you have a couple of guys like that, it helps you over the course of the season, protecting guys.”
Despaigne, a 27-year-old native of Cuba, has tended to wear down over a long season. For his career, he has a 3.92 ERA in 34 first-half games and a 5.56 ERA in 46 second-half games.
This will be Despaigne’s first start against the Phillies, although he has an 8.44 ERA in three relief appearances against the guys from the City of Brotherly Love.
Despaigne will be…