The Marlins will use Major League Baseball's new "26th player" provision to call up 22-year-old left-hander Brad Hand from Triple-A New Orleans, and send him back down afterward. Hand is 8-5 with a 3.66 ERA in 22 starts for New Orleans. He hasn't pitched in the Majors this season after making his Major League debut in June of last season.
Manager Ozzie Guillen said he will be careful not to keep the left-hander on the mound too long.
"I don't want to ruin the kid's arm," Guillen said. "If you pitch good, I'll leave you in. I'm not going to bring this kid up just to be a mop-up [guy]. I've got to take care of this kid's arm."
The Nationals' starter in the first game, 27-year-old John Lannan, pitched Game 2 in the Nationals' day-night home doubleheader against the Braves on July 21. He'll be looking for his first win against the Marlins since Sept. 13, 2009.
At Triple-A Syracuse, Lannan is 6-9 with a 4.89 ERA in 18 starts. He will also be sent down to the Triple-A club after Friday's doubleheader.
The scheduled pitchers for Game 2 are certainly more established.
Josh Johnson, whose name popped up in trade talk leading up to Tuesday's Trade Deadline, will start for the Marlins. In his career against the Nationals, Johnson is 8-1 with a 3.53 ERA. His ERA on the season, 4.14, is much higher than his ERAs in the last couple seasons, but Guillen knows Johnson will continue to compete.
"As a manager and a coach, you appreciate that," Guillen said. "He don't want to come out of games. He wants to help. He's not that superstar ace that I know. But this kid goes about his business the right way, and that's why I love him."
Johnson's last two starts have been more in line with his standard production -- he allowed one run over 11 innings.
Gio Gonzalez, the Nationals' starter for Game 2, was a little shaky in his last start, on July 29 in Milwaukee. He gave up four earned runs in six innings in the Nationals' 11-10, 11-inning victory.
Despite a shaky July -- his ERA over the month was 4.59 -- Gonzalez felt he pitched well in that start.
"I wouldn't want to change a [darn] thing I did today," Gonzalez said. "I felt like I went after the guys. I was trying to attack them. I was just missing by an inch. It's just one of those games."
Nationals: Probably only one game for Werth on Friday
Outfielder Jayson Werth, who returned to the lineup Thursday after breaking his wrist on May 6, will probably only play one game on Friday.
"The good thing is that we've got some other options," manager Davey Johnson said. "I know that he's in pretty danged good shape. It's not like he hasn't been doing anything for two-and-a-half months. I'm not really worried about it."
Werth went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk in the Nationals' 3-0 victory over the Phillies on Thursday. He is now batting .277/.376/.436 on the season.
In all likelihood, Jesus Flores will catch Lannan in Game 1 after sitting out Thursday's game. The catcher is batting .159 in 63 at-bats since July 3. He's also been dealing with some minor injuries.
Marlins: Reyes extends hitting streak to 20 games
With a triple in the sixth inning on Thursday, shortstop Jose Reyes' hitting streak sits at 20 games. It's the longest active streak in the Majors.
The 20-game hitting streak ties Reyes' career-long, previously set from July 17-Aug. 7, 2005, as a member of the Mets.
Dealing with back spasms, outfielder Justin Ruggiano is unlikely to play in either game on Friday. He has missed two straight starts.
If Ruggiano does make an appearance on Friday, it will probably come in a pinch-hitting role. In 138 at-bats, Ruggiano is batting .355/.419/.652 with eight homers and 22 RBIs.
Infielder Donnie Murphy was scratched from Thursday's game with flu-like symptoms. His status for Friday's games is unknown.
Friday's doubleheader is a result of a makeup game -- for an April 22 rainout -- being played in addition to the regularly scheduled contest.
The Nationals are right in the middle of a stretch of 35 games in 34 days, thanks to two home doubleheaders. Washington's next off-day comes Aug. 16.
The Marlins are 26-11 all-time at Nationals Park, but dropped their last three games in D.C.