Today is a winner-take-all game in the final of the best-of-five NLDS series between the Dodgers and the Nationals. The Washington Nationals were able to create a do-or-die situation in Los Angeles on Tuesday for the Dodgers which caused Dave Roberts to pitch Clayton Kershaw on short-rest, and with Kershaw unavailable to start today, Roberts has chosen Rich Hill as his starter. Due to the Saturday rain-out, Hill will be pitching on short-rest instead of starting the unused rookie Julio Urias.
The Nationals have Max Scherzer going today, and Scherzer will pitch on an extra day’s rest. If you like trending stats, Scherzer has pitched 5 home games this season on an extra day’s rest at a 2.33 ERA. The colder weather should also benefit Scherzer as the temperature at first pitch is forecasted to be 64°F with NW winds at 12mph.
The Nationals faced Rich Hill on Sunday at Nationals Park, and he was victimized by Jose Lobaton who hit a three-run home run off of him. Earlier in the same game, it was Lobaton who got up to bat against Hill with the bases loaded and one out and Lobaton swung at the first pitch and tapped a grounder right back to Hill for an easy doubleplay. In the end, Hill was pulled after 4 1/3 innings giving up 4 runs.
Lobaton met the ultimate redemption as he hit his go-ahead three-run home run into the teeth of a swirling wind off of Hill. The Nationals had many other chances against Rich Hill. In the game, Daniel Murphy and Trea Turner both had two hits off of Rich Hill, and Murphy also worked a walk. Bryce Harper also had a hit to the left-side off of Hill. Espinosa got on-base twice with hit-by-pitches from Hill and Ryan Zimmerman worked a walk.
Anthony Rendon struggled against Rich Hill, and besides Rendon’s home run in this series, he is struggling at a .188 BA and a .235 OBP; however, in small sample sizes, Rendon has been victimized by some bad luck BABIP .
The key to the Nats winning today is great pitching from Max Scherzer, and the Nationals bullpen and for the Nationals to score early and often off of Rich Hill.
Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 8:08 pm EDT
TV: Fox Sports FSI, MLB Network, MLB.TV
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):
- Trea Turner CF
- Bryce Harper RF
- Jayson Werth LF
- Daniel Murphy 2B
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Ryan Zimmerman 1B
- Danny Espinosa SS
- Jose Lobaton C
- Max Scherzer RHP