Who can forget JZim’s last regular season home start in 2014 against the Marlins? Need a hint? NO-HITTER!!!
This afternoon JZim will faceoff against rookie lefty Justin Nicolino. In one mega trade that brought Nicolino to the Marlins from the Blue Jays, Nicolino is connected to Yunel Escobar in that trade on November 19th, 2012. The Toronto Blue Jays traded Nicolino with Henderson Alvarez, Anthony DeSclafani, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jake Marisnick and Jeff Mathis to the Marlins for Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes. Of course a few weeks later Escobar was traded to the Rays for Derek Dietrich. Nicolino was drafted in the 2nd round out of High School by the Blue Jays and as spent nearly 5 years in the Minors.
Nicolino will be making his 10th start has a 3.81 ERA but a 5.86 ERA on the road. The Nats have never faced Nicolino before. Nicolino is a finesse sinkerballer who throws his fastball at 89 – 91 mph and throws his change-up as his other primary pitch and will throw a slider as his main breaking pitch with the occasional curveball. His go to pitch when he’s ahead in the count is change-up at 82mph. Nicolino likes to pitch inside and outside on the outer 1/3 of the zone and tempt batters to rollover on his sinker as a pitch-to-contact pitcher. He of course likes to stay low in the zone as a sinkerballer. His K/9 is 3.0 where he really gives up almost as many walks per game as K’s.
The key against Nicolino is hitting his breaking pitches which are not “plus” pitches and BABIP against those pitches are .320 in September and .333 against the sinker in September. In September, lefties have hit the LHP better at a .375 pace, and of course in a small sample size.
One community event item if you’re not doing anything after the game tonight, we are a donating sponsor of this animal welfare event with Wilson Ramos and other DC area celebrities at the Mad Rose tavern in Arlington.
— Chris Johnson (@masnCJ) September 19, 2015