Game #147 Dusty Baker goes with his #1 lineup tonight against the Dodgers with EJax on the mound

Without Bryce Harper available, the Nationals seem to be playing short-handed even with an outfield of Jayson Werth, Michael Taylor and Howie Kendrick. Dusty Baker has inserted back the ailing Daniel Murphy with the rest of the infield starters plus Matt Wieters who has been dealing with a balky back.  Edwin Jackson is the starting pitcher tonight, and he has unfortunately fallen back to earth. Jackson’s ERA has skyrocketed to 4.14 and he lasted only 3 1/3 innings in his last start surrendering 5 runs which also is the amount of runs he gave up in his previous start. In Jackson’s last 15 innings he has given up 13 runs of which 11 were earned runs. The Nationals need EJax to pitch better than that tonight against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers will pitch lefty Alex Wood who has been scuffling himself. He has given up 12 runs over his last 16 innings.

The Nationals and Dodgers will conclude their regular-season series this weekend in D.C., which is their first meeting since early June which matched up well in terms of pitching, and the Nats at least had Bryce Harper playing . That series also featured an epic battle between Clayton Kershaw and Stephen Strasburg who were locked in a pitcher’s duel.

If you recall the June 5th to 7th series in Los Angeles this season, Gio Gonzalez won the first game 4-to-2, and Max Scherzer won the second game 2-to-1. The third game featured Kershaw and Strasburg who were tangled in a 2-to-1 game with the Nats behind. The Nats had plenty of chances to win that game.  Trea Turner led off the 8th with a triple and the Nats did not score him as he was stranded at 3rd base. Strasburg only gave up one earned run in that game and he had to work harder in that game due to a fielding error that gave 3 free bases away by Michael Taylor and a very costly passed ball on a strikeout that led to the winning run which was botched by catcher Jose Lobaton who then also couldn’t block a pitch in the dirt for a wild pitch. Those games had a playoff atmosphere.

The Nats won’t face either Kershaw or Yu Darvish in this series, and the Dodgers won’t see Max Scherzer or Gio Gonzalez. The last time the Nationals saw the Dodgers in Washington, D.C. was the 5th game of the 2016 NLDS.

The ties between the 2016 NLDS foes run deep starting with Nationals manager Dusty Baker, who played for LA for eight seasons (1976-1983).  Baker was a two-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger, and a Gold Glove outfielder for the Dodgers, hitting .281 in 1,117 games with 144 home runs, 179 doubles, and 586 RBI, and was an integral part of the 1981 World Series Championship team. Joining him on that team was Nationals first base coach Davey Lopes, who played for LA from 1972-1981, was a four-time All-Star and a Gold Glover, and his 418 stolen bases rank second all-time in Dodgers history. The roots go even deeper with the current Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten who served as the Nationals President for five seasons, from 2006-10.

As you might remember, Jayson Werth was with the Dodgers from 2004-05 and Howie Kendrick and Joe Blanton were both with the Dodgers last year. The Dodgers LHP Rich Hill was a member of the Nationals’ organization in 2015 in Triple-A Syracuse. Edwin Jackson was drafted by the Dodgers and made his debut with them.


With 89 wins this season, Nationals manager Dusty Baker is closing in on his 10th 90-plus win season. When Washington reaches the 90-win mark (soon), Baker will become the 12th manager in Major League history to win 90 or more games on 10 or more occasions, per Elias Sports here is the other managers with 90+ win seasons: John McGraw (16), Joe McCarthy (15), Bobby Cox (15), Connie Mack (13), Joe Torre (12), Tony La Russa (12), Earl Weaver (11), Casey Stengel (11), Al Lopez (10), Walter Alston (10), and Sparky Anderson (10), are the only others to hit that mark and all of them are in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. • This 2017 post-season berth that the Nationals clinched marks the 9th Postseason appearance as a manager for Dusty Baker…According to Elias statistics, only 6 other managers have led teams to 9 Postseasons (all are in the Hall of Fame): Bobby Cox (16), Joe Torre (15), Tony La Russa (14), Casey Stengel (10), John McGraw (9), and Joe McCarthy (9)…This is the 7th division title for a Baker-led club, joining the 1997 & 2000 Giants, 2003 Cubs, 2010 & 2012 Reds and the 2016 Nationals.

Trea Turner is one stolen base away from tying Alfonso Soriano‘s 2006 Nationals’ record with 41 stolen bases. What is more amazing is the 2 months time Turner missed while being on the DL and he is still in 3rd place in stolen bases only trailing Billy Hamilton and Dee Gordon. If Trea could steal about 2 bases every game for the rest of the season he might win the crown, and that is highly improbable.

The Nationals have legitimately 4 players in the realm of possibly reaching 100 RBIs this season. Keep an eye on Ryan Zimmerman who has 95 RBIs, Anthony Rendon 92 RBIs, Daniel Murphy 88 RBIs, and Bryce Harper is at 87 RBIs. On August 1st it looked like the Nationals would have 4 players at the century mark for RBIs and while it’s still possible, it is a long-shot with Bryce Harper who is still on the DL.

Via MLB Network Radio

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium:   Nationals Park
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB Network (out-of-market-only), Sportsnet LA, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM®  Sirius 219 XM 185 (Internet 869)

Line-ups subject to change (without notice):

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