There is no foursome of starting pitchers better than the quadrumvirate of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Tanner Roark and Gio Gonzalez. The Dodgers have the best pitcher on the planet in the regular season—Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.28) in today’s 3:10 pm afternoon series finale. Stephen Strasburg (7-1, 2.91 ERA) must show he is up to the task as Strasburg is an ace among aces also.
Strasburg has gone at least seven innings in eight of his 11 starts this season. He has a 3.06 ERA in five career starts against Los Angeles. Kershaw leads the NL in ERA (2.28) and 2nd in innings per start (6.92) as he trails only Max Scherzer (7.01). Kershaw is tied with Strasburg and two others for the lead in wins. Against the Nationals, Kershaw is 10-2 with a 2.02 ERA in 14 games against the Nationals which includes the playoffs.
Generally to beat Clayton Kershaw you have to out-pitch him like Jimmy Nelson of the Milwaukee Brewers did 5 days ago. Kershaw gave up 1 run and Nelson went 8 innings giving 0 runs. You also help your cause against Kershaw by running up his pitch count and playing small ball although during a day game when the ball is flying he is susceptible to the long-ball.
Kershaw has been very pitch efficient going almost 7 full innings per start at 98.6 pitches per game versus Max Scherzer who also averages 7 full innings per start but averages 105.75 pitches per game.
Trea Turner has reverse splits but he has hit the lefty Clayton Kershaw well. The batter who has struggled mightily against Kershaw is Bryce Harper who is batting .100 but does have a home run and double for his 2 career hits against the Dodgers’ lefty.
The line-ups today will be slightly different than the past two games. So far in the series, Dusty Baker has exploited the lefty-heavy line-up that Dave Roberts penciled up last night as well as the lefty pinch-hitters in Monday night’s game.
The Nats won games one and two in this series to clinch the series already. This is game number 2,000 in the Washington Nationals history and it has been a history of growth.
Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers
Stadium: Dodger Stadium, 1000 Vin Scully Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
1st Pitch: 3:10 pm EDT
TV: MASN, MLB Network (out-of-market), SportsNet LA, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® XM 89 Sirius 209 (Internet 869)
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):
- Trea Turner SS
- Ryan Raburn LF
- Bryce Harper RF
- Ryan Zimmerman 1B
- Daniel Murphy 2B
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Michael Taylor CF
- Jose Lobaton C
- Stephen Strasburg RHP