Since returning from a nearly three-week stint with Triple-A New Orleans, Volstad has gone 1-0 with two no-decisions in three starts, posting a 3.78 ERA in those outings. In his last start, Volstad gave up two runs on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings against the Phillies, taking the no-decision as the Marlins wound up losing, 5-4, in 10 innings.
Although the numbers have been better since his brief demotion, Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez noted that there are many areas in which Volstad needs to improve. For one, Volstad has been getting into trouble with high first-inning pitch counts, part of the reason it took him 100 pitches to get through 5 2/3 against Philadelphia on Thursday.
"I'm pleased with his last outing. I saw some improvement there," Rodriguez said. "I know that he still has a lot to offer, and we haven't seen the best of Volstad yet. I know that he's working hard. He's getting the right frame of mind. He's staying aggressive."
The Nationals counter with left-hander Scott Olsen, coming off a rough outing against the D-backs on Aug. 3. Olsen gave up a three-run homer to Mark Reynolds in the fourth inning, which was all the offense Arizona needed to hand Olsen his third loss of the season in just his 10th Major League start in 2010.
"I never had the team in the position to win the game," Olsen said after the game. "I give up a lot of home runs, but you can live on giving up solo home runs -- solo home runs generally don't beat you. A three-run home run beats you pretty much every time."
Olsen said most of the problems in that outing were caused by him simply missing his spots, and the lefty was extremely disappointed in himself for not capitalizing against a lineup loaded with six left-handed hitters. The power-hitting D-backs simply got the best of him in every aspect of the game.
"I feel like, when I made good pitches, they hit 'em," lamented Olson, who gave up seven hits in his 5 1/3 innings. "When I made bad pitches, they hit 'em. They were all over everything tonight."
Marlins: Nunez still No. 1 closer
Despite three straight tough outings and two missed save opportunities, Leo Nunez is still the Marlins' closer, though he has some strides to make regarding his approach on the mound. Rodriguez said he has discussed pitch selection with the closer, focusing on his tendency to overuse his changeup and not go to his 96-mph fastball often enough. Nunez has 26 saves in 33 opportunities, including six of eight since the All-Star break, but Rodriguez is willing to make a change if Nunez's struggles persist.
"I've had plenty of conversations with him. The bottom line is, it could be Leo or it could be anyone on the mound," Rodriguez said. "Whoever is pitching needs to feel comfortable with whatever they're throwing. I can't, or [pitching coach] Randy St. Claire can't tell them what to throw if they don't have conviction.
"If you are confident throwing the changeup, throw the changeup. But you have to be smart. You don't even have to throw it for a strike, because they're sitting on it. Pick your spot and mix your pitches. ... We shouldn't be telling them what to throw. Then again, if it doesn't work out, I told them, as the manager I have to get it done. I have to look for other options."
Nationals: El Duque moving on up
The Nationals promoted Orlando Hernandez, better known as "El Duque," from the Gulf Coast League Nationals to Double-A Harrisburg. Hernandez, converted into a reliever, allowed one run in five innings over five games before his promotion on Tuesday. The 40-year-old right-hander is 90-65 with a 3.72 ERA in nine seasons in the Majors. He helped the Yankees win three consecutive World Series from 1998-00 before contributing to the White Sox's championship run in '05.
Meanwhile, right-hander J.D. Martin had successful back surgery Tuesday in California. The operation, performed by Dr. Robert Watkins, lasted less than an hour. Martin is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for Spring Training in 2011. Martin pitched in nine games for the Nationals this season, going 1-5 with a 4.13 ERA.
Dan Uggla belted his 10th home run since the All-Star break on Tuesday, going deep off Stephen Strasburg for his 26th long ball of the season. ... The Nationals snapped their streak of nine straight games with a home run on Tuesday, the second longest in Nationals history after the 12-game stretch from May 4-15 this year. ... Cody Ross (stiff neck) and Gaby Sanchez (right hamstring) were back in the Marlins' lineup Tuesday after sitting out since Thursday. Ross went 1-for-5, while Sanchez also went 1-for-5 with a double and two runs scored.
Wed, 8/11 7:05 PM ET
Check ex-mate: Marlins force hook, lean on rook
Rookie Mike Stanton had a career-high five hits and four RBIs, highlighting a big offensive night for the Marlins, who knocked out ex-Florida hurler Scott Olsen early and overcame three Washington homers.
|Ramirez, H, SS||3||1||1||1||2||1||0||.285|
|Sanchez, G, 1B||4||1||0||0||1||1||3||.290|
|Ross, C, CF||5||1||1||1||0||1||4||.269|
|Murphy, Do, 3B||5||0||2||2||0||2||2||.296|
|Paulino, R, C||4||0||0||0||1||1||4||.260|
|a-Luna, H, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Dunn, A, 1B||5||1||2||1||0||0||1||.273|
|Kennedy, A, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.259|
|Rodriguez, I, C||4||0||3||1||0||0||0||.274|
|Peralta, Jo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
1-Ran for Willingham in the 6th.
2B: Stanton 2 (14, Olsen, Batista), Murphy, Do (3, Olsen).
HR: Ramirez, H (16, 2nd inning off Olsen, 0 on, 0 out), Stanton (11, 7th inning off Peralta, Jo, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Ramirez, H 4; Morrison 3; Uggla; Ross, C; Stanton 10; Murphy, Do 3.
RBI: Ross, C (54), Stanton 4 (35), Murphy, Do 2 (10), Ramirez, H (59).
2-out RBI: Ross, C; Stanton 3; Murphy, Do 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Volstad; Paulino, R 2; Ross, C 2.
GIDP: Morrison; Paulino, R.
Team RISP: 5-for-14.
Team LOB: 8.
DP: (Sanchez, G).
2B: Zimmerman (26, Volstad), Kennedy, A (10, Volstad), Willingham (18, Sanches).
HR: Desmond 2 (9, 3rd inning off Volstad, 0 on, 1 out; 7th inning off Veras, 0 on, 0 out), Dunn, A (31, 5th inning off Volstad, 0 on, 2 out).
TB: Desmond 8; Dunn, A 5; Zimmerman 4; Kennedy, A 2; Rodriguez, I 3; Willingham 2.
RBI: Zimmerman (64), Desmond 2 (48), Dunn, A (78), Rodriguez, I (31).
2-out RBI: Zimmerman; Dunn, A.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Morse 2; Kennedy, A; Bernadina.
Team RISP: 2-for-9.
Team LOB: 7.
SB: Zimmerman (3, 2nd base off Volstad/Paulino, R), Bernadina (9, 2nd base off Volstad/Paulino, R).
E: Zimmerman (12, throw), Desmond (27, throw).
DP: 2 (Kennedy, A-Desmond-Dunn, A, Storen-Desmond-Dunn, A).
WP: Batista 2.
IBB: Paulino, R (by Olsen).
Pitches-strikes: Volstad 99-68, Sanches 8-5, Veras 17-11, Hensley 17-11, Oviedo 10-8, Olsen 56-33, Batista 69-41, Peralta, Jo 31-23, Storen 8-6.
Groundouts-flyouts: Volstad 7-3, Sanches 0-1, Veras 0-2, Hensley 1-0, Oviedo 1-0, Olsen 1-2, Batista 7-2, Peralta, Jo 0-0, Storen 1-0.
Batters faced: Volstad 25, Sanches 3, Veras 4, Hensley 4, Oviedo 3, Olsen 15, Batista 17, Peralta, Jo 9, Storen 3.
Inherited runners-scored: Sanches 1-0, Batista 2-1.
Umpires: HP: Alan Porter. 1B: Mike Winters. 2B: Hunter Wendelstedt. 3B: Jerry Layne.
Weather: 94 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 4 mph, In from CF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media