NLDS Game 4: It’s All on Kershaw Again

The definition of the word déjà vu is…. well here, I’ll copy and paste the meaning for you.

Literally “already seen”, is the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has already been experienced in the past.

That’s where we are right now. We’re stuck in déjà vu land with the Dodgers. After losing 8-3 in pathetic fashion to the Nationals in game 3, The Dodgers are now on the brink of elimination as they are now down 2-1 in the series.

If this sounds familiar it’s because it is. The Dodgers were down 2-1 after three games in last year’s NLDS against the Mets. In that series they called upon Clayton Kershaw to get them to game 5, and he did, only for the club to epically choke in game 5 with Zack Greinke on the mound. Today the Dodgers will ask Kershaw to do the same and get them on a plane to Washington for game 5. In which case I am sure the Dodgers will historically choke again.

Dodgers Lineup vs. Washington-NLDS Game 4 –Washington Leads series 2-1

Joe Ross-7-5 vs. Clayton Kershaw-12-4

Game Time – 2:00 PM PST – TV – FS1

I have to be honest with all of you. I have little to no confidence in this team and its players right now. I totally understand the decision to use Kershaw in game 4 today. I agree with it 100%. You can’t think about game 5 right now, because you have to win game 4 first to get there. You have to take it one game at a time and I would rather lose with my best (which is Kershaw) then not.

No offense to Julio Urias who is a good kid and developing into a fine young pitcher. However this is an elimination game and the Dodgers don’t have anyone else. It’s either go with Kershaw in game 4 and Urias in game 5, or save Kershaw for game 5 and pitch Urias today. The Dodgers are going to with Kershaw at home on short rest. I’m fine with that.

The thing is you can blame Andrew Friedman, or Dave Roberts all you like. The fact remains that the players have to play. They haven’t. Yes Friedman did a piss poor job of building a starting rotation. I have and will continue to ream him for that. When you spend money on injury riddled bums like Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy you destroy the forward progress of your starting rotation for years. Yes Roberts as a first year manager has made some mistakes with the match-ups or lineups. This is not their faults.

The players have to play, and unsurprisingly, most of the players have all choked in this series with the exception of Corey Seager, Justin Turner, and some of the bullpen guys. Yes I know it’s not impossible for the Dodgers to win two games in a row, but am I confident that they will? No.

That’s because the Dodgers and this group of players just don’t have it. Let me explain what it is. IT is the ability to win under pressure and come through in the clutch when it matters most. It is something that can’t be measured or quantified with stats or numbers. Some players have it, and some players don’t.

The Dodgers of yesteryear had it. Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Maury Wills, all had it. The Dodgers of the 1970’s Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Bill Russell, Davey Lopes, Steve Yeager, Rick Monday, they all had it. The Dodgers of 1988 Kirk Gibson, Orel Hershiser, Steve Sax, Mike Scioscia, Tim Belcher, John Shelby they all had it.

The great Yankee teams of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s all had it. Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, and Tino Martinez all had it. The Giants of this decade still have it. Guys like Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey have it. The Dodgers of 2015-2016 do not have it.

They just don’t have it. It’s as simple as that. Let me tell you something, they may never have it. That can change though if they can show up and you know play like they are supposed to. Isn’t this the team that’s supposed to have all this grit?

The lineup for game 4 has Chase Utley returning to the lead-off spot and second base. Yasiel Puig is back on the bench and Andrew Toles is back in left field. The rest of the lineup is the normal lineup. The Nationals will send 23-year old right hander Joe Ross to the mound.

Ross was part of that huge trade with the Padres and Rays that netted them Trea Turner, and Ross. The right hander is in his second MLB season and was 7-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 19 starts. Ross faced the Dodgers once on June 22 and picked up a no-decision. He’s made just 2 career starts against the Dodgers and is 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA.

Ross vs. Dodgers

Name PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
Adrian Gonzalez 6 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Yasmani Grandal 6 4 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 .500 .667 .500 1.167 0 0 0 0 0
Yasiel Puig 6 6 3 0 1 1 5 0 2 .500 .500 1.333 1.833 0 0 0 0 0
Joc Pederson 5 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 .000 .400 .000 .400 0 0 0 0 0
Andre Ethier 3 2 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 .500 .667 1.500 2.167 0 0 0 0 0
Carlos Ruiz 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Corey Seager 3 3 3 0 0 1 1 0 0 1.000 1.000 2.000 3.000 0 0 0 0 0
Justin Turner 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Chase Utley 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0 0 0
Enrique Hernandez 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Julio Urias 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Total 41 36 10 0 2 2 6 5 6 .278 .366 .556 .921 0 0 0 0 0

 

We all know Kershaw’s numbers against Washington by now. He won game 1 after he went five innings allowing three earned runs on 8 hits and striking out 7. The Dodgers won game 1 by a 4-3 score. Then they lost two in a row. Now they are looking to Kershaw to save their season once again like he did last year. Can he do it again on short rest?

Kershaw vs. Nationals

Name PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
Jayson Werth 42 37 11 0 0 2 2 5 13 .297 .381 .459 .840 0 0 0 0 1
Ryan Zimmerman 27 25 9 1 0 0 1 1 2 .360 .370 .400 .770 0 1 0 0 0
Daniel Murphy 22 22 7 0 0 2 3 0 1 .318 .318 .591 .909 0 0 0 0 1
Danny Espinosa 20 20 2 1 0 0 0 0 11 .100 .100 .150 .250 0 0 0 0 1
Stephen Drew 19 17 1 0 0 0 0 1 8 .059 .158 .059 .217 0 0 0 1 0
Anthony Rendon 19 19 7 0 0 0 3 0 3 .368 .368 .368 .737 0 0 0 0 0
Bryce Harper 18 18 2 1 0 1 1 0 11 .111 .111 .333 .444 0 0 0 0 0
Chris Heisey 18 16 3 2 0 0 0 0 6 .188 .278 .313 .590 0 0 0 2 0
Wilson Ramos 12 12 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 .167 .167 .167 .333 0 0 0 0 0
Jose Lobaton 9 8 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000 .111 .000 .111 0 0 0 0 1
Michael Taylor 9 9 3 2 0 0 0 0 2 .333 .333 .556 .889 0 0 0 0 0
Mat Latos 4 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .250 .250 .250 .500 0 0 0 0 1
Yusmeiro Petit 4 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .333 .500 .333 .833 0 0 0 0 0
Max Scherzer 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Clint Robinson 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0 0 0
Trea Turner 3 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 1 0 0 0
Pedro Severino 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 1.000 1.500 0 0 0 0 0
Blake Treinen 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .500 .500 .500 1.000 0 0 0 0 0
Total 237 223 52 8 0 5 11 9 70 .233 .270 .336 .606 0 2 0 3 5

 

If this is my last pregame this season, then I just want to say thank you to all of you for following us, commenting, and reading along throughout the year. I sincerely hope this is not the end. If it is I say thank you. You guys have made this season fun for all of us over here.

Clayton Kershaw has to get the Dodgers on a plane for Washington D.C. It’s up to you again Kersh.

Go Blue!

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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This article has 83 Comments

  1. Last I read, Bochy isn’t pitching Cueto on short rest tonight. He has enough confidence in his team to believe they can get to Game 5. But Roberts doesn’t want to lose at home without his best starter on the hill.

  2. The line up I put, isn’t the same line up today, but it is about the same players.

    I wonder if Puig did something, to not be played today.

    Reddick is in this game today.

    And he is hitting fifth again.

    And that is hitting behind Agone.

    Reddick is not protecting Agone, hitting fifth.

    I wonder if this is why Agone has looked so bad when he has been up.

    If Puig hasn’t done anything to not be played today, this is what is wrong with this team.

    The best players, are not being played in this game.

    That three base error, wasn’t Reddicks first error, it was his forth, like I have been saying.

    And how do you expect the team to win, when someone like Reddick, is in this line up.

    He is a defensive liability, and he isn’t a great run producer.

    He has hit in one important RBI for this team once.

    If you look at his RBI total, and subtract that four RBIs he had, when he hit that grand slam, after we were ahead eight nothing, his RBI total, since joining this team, is quite low.

    Unless there is something important, that we don’t know, why is the team catering to Reddick a mere rental?

    But I asked the same thing, about McCarthy.

    They could have had someone else, come in, in that first game in SF.

    It didn’t have to be Wood, and McCarthy, sure isn’t the right pitcher, to pitch in the post season.

  3. Kersh has pitched great in the last 3 nlds game 4’s. I believe he’ll do it again. Hell hes been better in game 4 than game 1.

    Just get him a few runs. All we need to do is win today. I have faith we take today, despite what my 190/120 bp says!

  4. In each of the last three postseasons, Clayton has had a start on 3 days rest and his ERA is 1.89.

    If his back is OK, I think he will do fine. Then it will be Hill and Urias for game 5…. assuming they win!

  5. “The actual players the core players need to come through or it might be time to bring in new talent to get it done”. James Moya, previous thread.

    Well Jim, new talent is what some of us have been asking for, for about 2 years now. We wanted it at the deadline that got us Latos and Anderson, we wanted last offseason when we got Kazmir, we wanted it this past deadline when we traded top talent for two walk year guys named Hill and Reddick, and I suspect when this is over we’ll be asking for it again.

    But it ain’t over yet.

    I’m not willing to throw in the towel, but my gut tells me today what it was telling me at the beginning of the year and I took a lot of crap in here about – this just doesn’t look like a championship roster to me. We have some real stars here, so it could still happen. But again, here we are making desperate moves because of weakness in our roster. That weakness has been here since the deadline last year.

    It could still work. Hopefully Kershaw throws strikes early and often and can go 7.

  6. Why on earth did Utley not advance Kershaw to third. Also Kershaw gets a hit and rest of the lineup hasn’t done anything against Ross the cy young candidate who has been injured this year.

    1. It is to bad, that Joc is always swinging from his heels.

      If he was just trying to get a hit up the middle, he would have probably had a grand slam there!

    2. Dodgers hitters are leaning into the pitch. Both teams appear to be willing to do it. Blue needs to call that. If they don’t – good play.

      Kershaw looks great, right after he didn’t. Shadows arrive at perfect time.

  7. There will be big changes after this season is over. Puig will be traded. Taking that fly ball away from Pederson sealed his fate. He has not changed. Utley looks tired. He will be gone. Barnes needs to catch half the games or be traded. Sign Turner unless he wants six years. Do not sign Jansen unless it is a great deal for the Dodgers with no guarantee he is the closer. He will leave. Toles and Pederson can both hit left handers. Play them full time next year. Thompson will be the other starter in the outfield. We need a second baseman. Trade for one unless FAZ thinks we have one in the system. It may be Johnson. Starting pitchers, we have enough. Figure out who can do the job and trade the rest. We have enough good young pitchers in the minors to be brought up if needed. It is time to play our 8 best players full time. The hell with platooning. My opinion.

    1. I like how you wrote “My opinion” as if we were reading and thinking you actually knew the future.

      Don’t agree with most of it, but good to hear opinions…

  8. The next inning is the seventh, if the first hitter gets on, the catcher needs to go out there, and Roberts needs to pull Kershaw out then

  9. Joc is having a good series. I have only seen one hard swing while all the rest have been under control, smooth, and strong. His bat is staying in the strike zone a long time as well.

  10. Haven’t we seen this the last two years, bringing in Baez at the crucial juncture of the game and NOT Jansen????

    Lightning can’t strike 3 times, can it?

    1. The problem is, that Kershaw should have been taken out, after the first hitter got on base.

      This is about winning this game, more then Kershaw’s ego.

      Baez has never been good, coming in with runners on base, let alone the bases loaded.

      He has no been good when he faces his first hitter either!

      How many times does this seventh inning have to go bad?

      To make the manager take Kershaw out, after he allows the first hitter to get on.

      1. It will keep happening. Your “great manager’ doesn’t learn from his mistakes. Or maybe someone else makes all the decisions. Nothing is going to change on this team…

  11. The Dodgers should have signed Daniel Murphy to a 1 billion dollar contract just so he wouldn’t get on an opposing roster.

    Unbelievable.

    Unbelievable.

  12. Roberts screwed up a brilliant performance by Kershaw. First base runner in the 7th they should have relieved him. How many years in a row will they mismange Clayton late in the game!! This makes me steam!! Clayton deserves so much better.

    1. Why is everyone concerned with Kershaw?

      That is the problem, this is about a win.

      It is always the seventh inning!

      When is someone going to take Kershaw out, after he allows the first hitter to get on?

      The main objective is to win this game, not stroke Kershaw’s ego!

    1. You can’t let Kershaw put the tying or winning runs on base!

      This is an elimination game, not a game to say Kershaw finally made it through the seventh inning!

  13. Let’s not forget that after the hitter reached base in the 7th Kershaw induced a ground ball to short. If Seager is one step to his left on that ball he either forces the runner at second or throws out the runner at first. In fact, he might have thrown to first the hitter was anyone other than Trea Turner.

    1. Brooklyn

      That same thing happened twice against the Cardinals.

      And Kershaw had problems then!

      Do you want to make Kershaw feel better, get him out.

      Don’t let a big inning happen, by staying with Kershaw to long.

      This isn’t about Kershaw, it is about winning!

      This is an elimination game

      1. Yeah, Roberts probably left him a batter too long.

        The ump pretty much missed a couple of strikes.

        Seager probably should have been a second faster on the flip to Utley.

        It’s playoff baseball. It’s borderline random. The best team rarely wins.

        Enjoy it.

        It’s awesome.

  14. Everyone surprises me here, by worrying about Kershaw, instead of the win!

    Kershaw has been part of he problem in the post season!

    And why is one of our best hitters bunting?

    And Turner is our best clutch hitter!

    1. It’s not about Kershaw, it’s who you bring in (or don’t bring in) that complicates things.

      Bases loaded, two outs, a lead we must hold onto, a game we must win, let’s use anyone but Jansen!

      And there goes the lead 🙁

      Keep the faith!!!

  15. The home plate umpire sucks. Missed two strike three pitches from Kershaw to Harper. Now even Harold Reynolds knows that he should have let the first base ump make that call on Puig.

  16. Reynolds is dead wrong about there being no check swing rule. If the barrel of the bat goes through the strike zone, it’s a strike. Puigs bat went into the strike zone, but clearly not through it.

  17. The guy on High Heat, said that Roberts being a rookie, would make a big mistake in the post season!

    And he sure did and I like Roberts.

    How can anyone that has watched Kershaw collapse, two times in the seventh inning, and lose the game, care about Kershaw’s feelings, more then having the team win a game?

    And by the way, if Kerhaw was taken out when they should have, he would be feeling better right now!

    1. Bad job by Roberts in the 7th. I was screaming to take him out when Turner came up. I was screaming at the ump when Kershaw couldn’t get a call on Harper. I was quite upset when I saw Baez coming in when it was Joey Pancakes time.

      Fortunately, Dusty screwed up twice when he let a LH pitcher pitch to Joc and Utley. Call on Puig was horseshit too.

      Kershaw deserved a better fate statistically, but we won the game.

  18. I didn’t think they should start him. But understand completely why they did.

    I didn’t think he should go past 85 pitches. 110? No way. Gutsy performance. And gutsy move by Roberts to leave him in there.

  19. I’m really happy that they won, because Roberts would have been crucified by everyone!

    And like I said above, I like Roberts!

    But this was a team victory, and that is how it should be!

    I still think Kershaw should have been taken out, after the first hitter got on!

    But Roberts worked so hard, to make these players buy into the team concept, that he and the team, was rewarded for there hard work!

    I am so glad, that we won this game!

    Sorry everyone for being so emotional, but I couldn’t take this happening again!

    And to me, this is more about a win for the team!

    1. It’s your team! You are supposed to be emotional when they start to slip. But we won!
      I think I’ll go to Walmart and check my blood pressure😬

  20. I just want to say the biggest crow I need to eat is for Blanton!

    Blanton has pitched the most innings in the bullpen, and he has been just wonderful this year!

  21. I changed the station when I heard the name Baez. I couldn’t bear it. Sure enough…I tune in five minutes later and there’s already been three pitcher changes.

    I would’ve liked an easier win, but Kenley didn’t work too hard and the pen will be in good shape. The Dodgers can throw everything at them on Thursday.

    BTW….smart to leave Kershaw in if you factor Harper’s record against Kershaw.

    1. Dodger patch

      That is true, but Kershaw was pitching on three days rest, and he didn’t have all of his best stuff.

      But that ump didn’t help either.

  22. Kershaw’s era won’t be lower, but that isn’t his fault.

    That one pitch to Harper should have been a strike, and ended that inning, so Kershaw could go off the field happy.

    I am tired of umps, trying to make themselves a bigger part of the game.

    I am ready for electronic umps!

    And Roberts should have got Kershaw out sooner, so that is not on Kershaw.

    He came back from throwing so many pitches in the first inning.

    And then he got stronger, got more confident and then his pitch count, started to look much
    better.

    And Kershaw did this, without all of his best stuff.

  23. I refuse to second guess. Sometimes managers make the right move… sometimes they don’t. You are never wrong when you engage in second guessing so, I leave it to the experts in second guessing. I will say this:

    Kershaw didn’t have great stuff but he willed it. I respect that.

    It scares me to bring Baez in with the bases loaded.

    I know that the Nationals didn’t have an extra base hit.

    I know the Dodgers had 6 runs on just 7 hits.

    I know this is a scrappy bunch.

    I THINK we have a chance!

  24. I thought it was pretty cool when Roberts came out to give CK the hook and he was summarily ignored… Pat on the butt got get em cap.. Bottom line CK got squeezed in that AB but he didn’t give in and serve one up for the MVP….Great battle… Can we just put Murphy aka.. Dodger killer on every time please…

    My guess is if Hill starts game 5 his career as a Dodger is on the line…. He can shut up all of us MMQB’s real quick and add some 000’s to the paycheck by going out and doing something special. And if he doesn’t… I don’t want to go there… Isn’t this the game we signed him for?

    How about the old guys stepping up when they had to in the 8th!!!!

    1958 called it on the earlier post about Jansen coming out with a vengeance. Maybe the guy needs for it to be a save situation for him to bare down..

    What a weird year…

    Go Blue!!

        1. Jake
          I looked up that player on the Giants that got most of there big hits, there is nothing in his stats, to explain his big hits.

          In 191 at bats he hit six HRs, and hit 267 on the Giants this year.

          Suddenly he hits the only HR, off the Mets closer this year.

          He gets the biggest hit off Chapman last night.

          And he has gotten two hits to night.

          How is that not luck?

          I hate the Giants!

          1. Post season is when stars are made… A player coming off the bench getting the start because of an injury, stepping up sparking the team and making history… Seems to happen every year in every sport. I hate it in this case but love it generally!

            I guarantee you Hill is going to have a hard time sleeping between now and Thursday. His future earning potential is literally on the line…. You know the saying… Big players play big in big games…. I hope he plays BIG!!

  25. Jake
    The Cubs curse has to be real.

    And there fans, are going to freak, more then us Dodger fans!

    The Cubs are swinging to hard in SF.

    It is really hard, to hit the ball out, in that park, especially this time of the year.

    You have to hit the ball into the gaps, and hit line drives, or you are not going to score much there.

    That is why most of the Giant players, are good contact hitters.

  26. Tim
    I do love the Cubbie tonight!

    Great night for Dodger fans, those crock roaches has taken some of there own medicine tonight, by the Cubbies!

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