Was anyone surprised that the Dodger hitters were completely feckless against Max Scherzer one of the greatest pitchers of our generation in game 4 of the NLDS against Washington on Monday night? It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone. Scherzer limited the Dodgers to just one earned run on four hits over seven dominating frames as the Nationals defeated the Dodgers 6-1 to even the series and force a game 5 at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night. If the Dodgers want to advance to the NLCS all they have to do is beat game 2 winner Stephen Strasburg. Yup should be a piece of cake.
The Dodger’s “plan” to start gimpy veteran Rich Hill for a couple of innings and then use the bullpen was a terrible idea. That should show everyone how little pitching depth they actually have this season. No offense to Hill. I love the guy, he’s a gutsy performer but he was in no shape physically for this kind of assignment and the Dodgers did not have anyone else they trusted to give the ball too. That’s something that may indeed sink the season. It’s something I have been mentioning all season and if you want to blame Dave Roberts for this then please tell me who could have started this game? Perhaps Dustin May, or Kenta Maeda, or a combination of those two? This is a problem that is completely on the front office for not beefing up the pitching staff when they had a chance at the trade deadline. The lack of importance the front office places on pitching in general is what really ticks me off.
As for game 4, the Dodgers didn’t have much of a chance unless they worked counts and ran up Scherzer’s pitch count to get him out of the game as quickly as possible. They didn’t do that. Instead they had zero plate discipline or plate approaches and Scherzer mowed them down without breaking much of a sweat. The lone blemish on the night was Justin Turner’s first inning solo home run. The Dodgers got just four hits against Scherzer who finished the night making 109 pitches.
The Nationals plated one run in the third and then scored four runs in the fifth inning to put the game on ice. The three-run home run from Ryan Zimmerman off of Pedro Baez in that fateful fifth frame was the decisive blow. The Nationals added one more run just to twist the knife a little deeper.
The Dodgers did get a brief glimpse at the game in the top of the seventh inning. With Scherzer nearing 100 pitches and seemingly tiring, the Dodgers loaded the bases. Joc Pederson hit a line drive down the right field line that literally landed about two inches foul, and Scherzer was able to escape the inning without allowing anything. Goes to show you how much baseball sucks doesn’t it?
In the end it has been the bats that have really let the team down. Other than that big rally in game 3, the hitters have not been able to figure out the National’s two aces or Anibal Sanchez for that matter. Now they’ll have to beat Strasburg in a winner take all game 5 at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night. The Dodgers will give the ball to Walker Buehler. It’s going to be a battle. I don’t get off work until 6, so I should be arriving home right around the time Kenley Jansen or Clayton Kershaw is blowing the scoreless tie in the top of the seventh. Awesome. In other news, if the Dodgers don’t make it then Wednesday’s contest will be my final recap. I really hope it doesn’t end like that. At least the Dodgers will get one more home game before the slow dark winter envelopes us.