NLDS Shifts To Dodger Stadium, Gonzalez vs. Maeda in Game 3

Justin Turner

I’m not ready to panic yet, but I am sure some of you are. The Dodgers and Nationals split the two games in Washington over the weekend and the series returns to Dodgers Stadium with the two clubs tied at one game each. The Dodgers took the first game by a 4-3 score thanks to great relief pitching and power hitting from Corey Seager and Justin Turner. Kenley Jansen recorded a 5-out save as the Dodgers took a 1-0 series lead.

Washington then struck back by beating Rich Hill and the boys in blue by a 5-2 score. The Dodger offense stranded a small army of base runners and National’s backup catcher Jose Lobaton smashed a three-run home run to put the Nationals ahead for good. Now the Dodgers are back home where they play well and feel comfortable.

The Dodgers were never expected to win both games in Washington, and that is why I am not ready to panic. A split was the best outcome we could hope for. The Nationals are good, and play just as well at home as the Dodgers do. Now if the Dodgers lose today then I will panic.

Dodgers vs. Washington – NLDS Game 3

Gio Gonzalez-11-11 vs. Kenta Maeda-16-11

Game Time – 1:08 PM – TV-MLBN

The Dodgers will have to face left hander Gio Gonzalez, while they give the ball to right hander Kenta Maeda. The 31-year old left hander has had a down year for the Nationals. He posted an 11-11 record with a 4.57 ERA in 32 starts. He struck out 172 and walked 59 across 177.1 innings pitched while posting a 1.3 WHIP.

The Dodgers faced Gonzalez once back on June 20, and lost. In that game Gonzalez tossed 6 innings of one-run ball and struck out 6. Gonzalez struggled a bit in September down the stretch posting a 7.43 ERA. Gonzalez is 4-6 with a 4.45 ERA on the road this season. In the regular season Gonzalez is 3-1 with a 1.69 ERA in 5 career starts against the Dodgers. The veteran lefty is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA at Dodger Stadium. The current Dodgers are hitting just .160 (23 for 144) against Gonzalez with one home run and 14 runs driven in. Nobody has hit him well, and the Dodgers should just trust their regulars right now.

This is not the time to be playing the percentages or going with bench guys. It’s time to play the guys that got you here and have some faith in them. Doesn’t matter how they have done against left handers.

Gonzalez vs. Dodgers

Carlos Ruiz 34 29 7 3 0 1 5 3 3 .241 .324 .448 .772 0 1 0 1 0
Howie Kendrick 27 23 5 1 0 0 2 4 8 .217 .333 .261 .594 0 0 0 0 1
Chase Utley 21 20 3 0 0 0 3 1 2 .150 .190 .150 .340 0 0 0 0 1
Justin Turner 19 19 2 0 0 0 2 0 4 .105 .105 .105 .211 0 0 0 0 1
Adrian Gonzalez 18 17 2 0 0 0 1 1 4 .118 .167 .118 .284 0 0 0 0 0
Yasiel Puig 11 11 1 1 0 0 0 0 5 .091 .091 .182 .273 0 0 0 0 0
Enrique Hernandez 7 7 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 .286 .286 .571 .857 0 0 0 0 0
Andre Ethier 6 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 .000 .333 .000 .333 0 0 0 0 0
Yasmani Grandal 5 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 .000 .400 .000 .400 0 0 0 0 0
Chris Taylor 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Brett Anderson 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 1 0 0 0 0
Charlie Culberson 2 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000 0 0 0 0 0
Josh Reddick 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Alex Wood 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Joc Pederson 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Total 160 144 23 7 0 1 14 13 37 .160 .233 .229 .462 1 1 0 1 3


As for Maeda, his last start of the regular season was not good. However he has had plenty of time to rest. When Maeda has 6 or more days of rest he has posted a 4-1 record and a 3.48 ERA. Opposing hitters are batting just .210 when he has six or more days of rest. A well rested Maeda is a good Maeda. The Japanese import did not face Washington during the regular season. Overall he finished with a 16-11 record and a 3.48 ERA in 32 starts. He struck out 179 and walked just 50 across 175.2 innings of work.

Now is not the time for the Dodgers to be playing percentages. You guys know how much I hate playing the percentages. Take Yasmani Grandal for example. I know some of you were calling for his head after game 2, but consider this. If the Dodgers play Ruiz in game 3 they are losing a huge power source from the middle of the lineup. I don’t care what Ruiz has done 5 years ago against Gonzalez or the Nationals. Ruiz hasn’t been a good hitter in years and Grandal hit 27 home runs during the regular season. You can’t take out a legitimate power threat in your lineup and replace him with a B-hitter that hasn’t been a run producing threat in several years. Same goes for the rest of the left handed hitters in the lineup.

What the Dodgers need is for the regulars to start making adjustments during games. Stop using the same swings on the same pitches. Make those in-game adjustments and change your plate approaches. They didn’t do that in game 2.

The Dodgers also need a quality start from Kenta Maeda. The Dodgers need to start hitting left handed pitching (They are already 1 for 14 against lefties in the series), and I don’t know maybe stop pitching to Daniel Murphy would also help.

Check out the lineups for today:

Dodgers Lineup vs. Washington

Looks like Yasiel Puig is in the lineup and batting cleanup behind Corey Seager. Joc Pederson gets dropped to eighth in the batting order, and Charlie Culberson is playing second base. The rest of the lineup looks mostly normal. Thank god. I still think Andrew Toles should be playing instead of the ice cold Howie Kendrick.

Here is the Washington Lineup

Turner CF

Werth LF

Murphy 2B

Harper RF

Rendon 3B

Zimmerman 1B

Espinosa SS

Lobaton C

Gonzalez P


You can catch the game at 1:08 PM on MLB Network. All I can say is keep the faith until they lose today, then lose yourself.

Go Blue!

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

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

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75 thoughts on “NLDS Shifts To Dodger Stadium, Gonzalez vs. Maeda in Game 3

  1. Normally I don’t feel the need to explain my posts but in light of yesterday’s comments that were made about me, I feel the need to at least clarify them.

    First off, the reason I said “please live in the moment or at least in the game” is because every time someone questions Grandall’s play Mark immediately brings up the Kemp trade. By saying what I did, I was trying to put the focus on the results that are happening right now, in the playoffs. I am not a huge fan of Grandall nor do I totally dislike his play. He is a streaky hitter and his defense needs some work.
    In the playoffs a streaky hitter needs to be “in the streak”. That was the gist of my comment there.

    As for my “rehashing stats is just like second guessing” comment, well once again, IT IS PLAYOFF TIME. What you did in the regular season is fine and dandy, but it’s do or die and it all comes down to what can you do for us “now”. I personally feel Grandall is not a crunch time hitter, nor is he a crunch time defensive catcher. I think he definitely has a ton of potential, and I think we will keep Ruiz for next year to mentor him.

    Finally, Mark called me “Slow” and “Dumb”. Of which I am neither, ok I am not as fleet footed as I once was. But calling me slow and dumb in that manner I find a bit nasty and somewhat insulting. Anyone who knows me knows that I am actually quite intelligent and extremely good looking. (Sarcasm on the latter part). I have a thick skin and can take it. At least I can take it when it is dished out in the proper way. Not by someone who blows a gasket and reverts to name calling and bold type when he doesn’t like someone else’s post. Over the last month or so I was quite nice to Mark. I admitted, and justifiably so, that what the FAZ has done this season has worked, and I am impressed. I have also praised Mark for his baseball acumen and his well thought out posts, when they are not knee jerk reactions and insulting.

    With that said, I have had it with your name calling Mark and I advise you to think twice going forward. Stop acting like a 2 year old. (See what I did there?) In the court of public opinion it is very difficult to get by on a technicality.

    1. Tim,

      Believe me I understand your opinions here. I had my reservations about Grandal and he can be very streaky. Unfortunately the Dodgers have no other alternatives on hand. Ruiz has been washed up for years and is bad. Barnes is a second year rookie who has maybe 15 plate appearances at the big league level. You have to play Grandal. Even if he goes ohfer at least he is a legitimate power threat and might hit the ball out of the yard.

      As for Mark, he is a smart guy, but I think he needs to eat more Dodger dogs. He seems a bit stressed out from lack of Dodger dogs. There are no Dodger dogs in Indy.

      Mark please, eat a Dodger dog. Grilled of course.

      1. I fully realize Grandall is the best option available for them right now. I don’t disagree with that at all. I also think that Ruiz can work with him and make him a much better defensive catcher in the off season and throughout ST. As for his streakiness at the plate, that will take some work, although injuries probably have a good bit to do with that.

        And it is the injury bug that the FO and ownership has got to figure out. I know it is sports wide but it just seems we have a lot more than others. And a lot of the same injuries to different people. But that subject is for a post World Series win discussion

        1. 1. Most of Grandal’s power is left-handed
          2. Ruiz has seen more of the Nats, but he’s no spring chicken
          3. Do you think Ruiz can do a better job mentoring YG than AJ and Steve
          Yeager? If Ruiz isn’t good enough to play today, why the trade?

          1. That last question is one I find myself asking about so many players that have been in and out of here. The list is long.

    2. No ambiguity there Tim.

      When Mark is talking baseball, half of what he says makes sense. When we comment on the half that doesn’t, we get blasted. It’s my opinion he is in that 30% group in our nation that is just pissed off and it doesn’t take much to light the short fuse. Whatever, to call people disparaging names is very immature. And Scott, eating more nitrates, bone fragments, rat legs, insects, maggots, plastic, glass, flies, hair – all found in hot dogs, is not gonna help anyone, especially Mark.

    3. Tim as Badger pointed out you said nothing wrong. Not only that your point was valid.

      I wont defend Mark Timmons (he wouldn’t want it either) just let me say I have a very dear friend who is cut from the same mold. He has been my friend since high school and he will be my friend for life. So when he (just like Mark) attempts to overwhelm with his voice I just laugh it off. With my friend I quickly put him in his place by pointing out his thinning dome and expanding gut. But he is a good guy as well as Mark, IMHO. Have a good day Tim.

      1. Thanks Artie. I too have friends like that. If it is a consistent trait it really bugs me. Those people are used to others not standing up to them. And it is not professional at all. And Really not needed.
        If it is in private conversation or amongst a few friends I am OK with it.
        When is abusive on a public forum I can’t stand it. I can just walk away but then they win.
        Quite often there is a back story. In this story there is no absence of malice.

        Why can’t people just respect others opinions?

        Go Dodgers!!!!! That’s all we should care about

    4. I don’t know about Mark but I see what you did there, I read between the lines. I know how to do Internet research too. Good for you.

    5. Tim
      I didn’t know there was a new site, so I am only saying this now.

      When anyone calls or refers to someone else in that way, that just makes them look bad.

      Just ignore it!

  2. Unless Maeda has a preference of Grandal, I would have gone with Chooch do to experience against the Nats players and being a clutch performer which Yasmani isn’t. Prove me wrong Yasmani!

  3. Suddenlink doesn’t carry MLBTV. I don’t get to view the game. It’s 1965 all over. I get radio. Will Vin please step in for me

    I’m looking for ways to get it on my iPad. Any suggestions?

    1. Find someone with MLB extra innings and you can watch online if you can get their cable/satellite passwords shared with you. That’s the only thing that I can think of. Or the mlb at bat app using the same method.

  4. Yep….I called this one. Maeda is getting lit up and it is only the 3rd inning. He has been very pedestrian the last few starts. I thought all the extra rest was supposed to help him. He is pitching scared….

  5. Tim, your best bet is to IGNORE the personal attacks Mark makes because once he does that, he loses all reason…..boy that 1-0 lead did not last long…..Offense had better wake up quick or we are down 2-1.

  6. Get Maeda out of their before you are 7 or 8 runs down……..what a joke……..thank you for this wonderful pitching staff there FAZ… least we do not have to watch Kazmir melt down…..61 pitches in less than 3 innings???? WTF????

  7. You’ve got Werth 0-2, get the batter instead of letting Turner force you into a bad pitch and a big inning. Home plate ump blew the call on Puig, Joc, and Espinoza. Horrible job behind the plate. You must attempt to avoid being hit if the ball is a strike.

  8. Just for the record, here is what SloTim said:

    Mark, Kemp is gone. Please live in the moment, or at least the game. Rehashing stats is just the same as second guessing.

    When you have to write a 4 or 5 paragraph explanation as to what you wrote, I’d say there is a problem. It’s like what Badger does all the time. It’s passive-aggressive. Mark, Kemp is gone. That’s a condescending, passive aggressive thing to say. It’s a veiled way to call someone a dumbass.

    Then you try and spin it back to being all polite and politically correct by again condescendingly saying Please live in the moment, or at least the game. It’s an eloquent put down in a passive aggressive manner. Sorry, if I don’t respond well to that!

    Then you said:Rehashing stats is just the same as second guessing. Now that is just a plain dumb thing to say. Why would you even say that? We all talk about stats all the time and I am not trying to convince anyone about how good Grandal is – the results show that Grandal is one of the Top Catchers in baseball. If someone doesn’t like Grandal, like Michael, that is their right, but you can no longer argue with a straight face that he is not one of the best catchers in baseball. PERIOD!

    I wasn’t defending Grandal, in fact I said this: I agree that Grandal stank today.

    I wrote that because Michael said he didn’t hit well in the clutch (and he was right) and who better to compare him to than the guy he was traded for, who is just slightly better?

    You and Badger are the same guy – You both use passive aggressive eloquent language to demean others in a condescending tone. It’s like the little brother who pokes his big brother 25 times until big brother blasts him and he cries and says he hit me and I didn’t even do anything!

    I’m not a bit passive aggressive, so I don’t pretend to understand it. I just call it as I see it! If you take that tact with me, that’s how I respond, and by the way, I am not an angry guy. Just the opposite, I am very happy-go-lucky. I just call out what I think is wrong.

    While I wrote this Maeda’s arm fell off!

  9. That was awful…. The Nats definitely weren’t to worried about Maeda as I thought. He had Werth 0-2 and the pitch he threw him made me want to be at the plate. Nerves?? I am a real poor sport…. Have we even scored 5 on a lefty this year?? JK…. Not really… I took today off to watch and now I need a new remote bec I threw it. Come on BLue find a way!!!!!

  10. The Espinosa play- is that one of those moments where Roberts should have gone nuts to get ejected hoping to spark and inspire the team?

  11. SloTim,

    I just saw your comment: Why can’t people just respect others opinions?

    I agree, why can’t you?

    Quit playing the victim – you started it!

    It’s that old passive-aggressive thing!

  12. You know you guys with all your negative comments about us being 1-1 would really be funny if it wasn’t so sad. A week ago must of us would’ve been happy with a split vs a team like the Nationals and their home record especially since our AWAY record was under .500.
    Now we are home tied for the 2nd best record in baseball with the Rangers and Indians behind the Cubs for HOME record. Yes, that was then and this is now and it’s a “new” season but I prefer to see the glass 1/2 full instead of 1/2 empty.

    1. BTW: We have still won 6 out of 8 from them this season. See the positive? If not, LOOK for it. That attitude could be catching.

  13. Although it’s often difficult to do, the 2:21 Timmons post is example of why it’s a good idea to ignore the Timmonsian flapdoodle.

    Maeda stank. He joins his battery mate Grandal in Maximus odiferous balling. It goes in the scorebook as 1-2 Stinkeroo. Ok, not so eloquent, but substantially demeaning and condescending – don’t you think?

  14. So that 6 days rest for Maeda didn’t work out so well. Oh for the days when the Dodgers were renown for their starting pitching.

    1. Not so sure this is a choke job Scott. The Dodgers have a few major holes (SP, inability to hit with RISP, inability to hit LH pitching) and those are being exposed by the Nationals.

  15. Poor AB’s by everyone in the 8th inning. I lost count on how many pitches they swung at that were out of the strike zone. Looked like everyone was trying to hit it out.

    Jansen needs to get out of this inning without anymore damage. Doesn’t look good, but not out of reach.

    1. Brooklyn

      Kenley had melt down, and Reddick made another error.

      And because Howie doesn’t have a good enough arm to play leftfield, we lose another run.

    1. Bruce
      Most outfielders catch that ball.

      Reddick has now made four errors since he has been with the team.

      And no other outfielder, has made more then two errors all season long.

  16. The guy they inherited….won.

    The guy they traded for….lost.

    The guy they signed….lost.

    Tomorrow, will be the guy they brought up from the minors because their other signings, well can’t pitch.

  17. It’ starting to look a lot like “next year”:

    Kenley Jansen will break your heart… just when you have re-gained confidence in him. The Dodgers will extend him the QO and he won’t take it!

    Josh Reddick is not good under pressure. The Dodgers will not make him an offer. He should have caught that ball… good guy, but bye!

    Rich Hill will get some consideration, but I think he will sign elsewhere, so if we lose this series, FAZ traded Cotton, Montas and Holmes for a month of Hill and two months of Reddick. History will judge if that was wise. I haven’t a clue right now, but we lost them for nothing to show. I don’t feel good about it right now, but contrary to what many said, FAZ did try and win NOW and they traded from our surplus.

    Dodgers most likely to get traded:

    Austin Barnes
    Yasiel Puig
    Kenta Meada
    Howie Kendrick
    Scott Kazmir
    Andre Ethier

    Here’s the Million Dollar Question:

    Who will start tomorrow – Kershaw or Urias? Roberts says Urias… we shall see.

    This doesn’t feel good. Our back are against the wall.

    1. Kershaw has to pitch, he is the guy getting all the big money.

      Reddick is not a run producer either, because he isn’t good in the clutch.

      He doesn’t even hit the ball, to the warning track

  18. This isn’t the last game yet.

    We beat them in the first game, in Washington.

    Kershaw has to pitch like Bumgarner has for the Giants, tomorow.

    And stop the front office stuff.

    The reason I don’t like Reddick, has nothing to do with the front office.

    I didn’t think he should be playing over the other outfielders, and the front office brought Toles.

  19. No. Kershaw with a questionable back AND the Dodgers having to win 2 games is not bringing Kershaw back on short rest. Best to have Urias start at home and take your chances with Kershaw in DC. It’s basically a no brainer.

  20. Kershaw? On 3 days rest? He threw 101 pitches and looked completely gassed in that last outing. And frankly he wasn’t that sharp as with all that work he only went 5. Yeah, I know it’s an elimination game, but this is the franchise starter coming off a back issue. And, he ain’t no Bumgarner. This is where we are. You didn’t plan it right, take your medicine. There’s nobody there. Throw the kid to wolves. He can go 4, then do what you’ve done all year – let the bullpen save your ass.

    1. So much for our famed pitching depth right Badger? Pitching a 20 year old with how many starts since Sep 1? Didn’t he have an innings limit? But you’re correct, it’s a max of 4 innings and the relief corp. It might work. But this is what the Los Angeles Dodgers have come down to. Let’s root for the kid!

  21. Wow, so much for depth, maybe it should be derth. As in a derth of missed opportunities and just poor execution. Oh and Kenley is toast. He has lost what mojo he had. Put a fork in him.
    2017? 2018?

    I am still holding on. They have shown grit recently. Now let’s see if that grit becomes mettle. Or meddle. I am in a college town surrounded by college students and nobody could tell me the proper spelling. And I refused to Google it.
    Same thing with derth. Uugghh kids in college today.

    1. Tim
      Spelling is no sign of inteligence, just like hand writing.

      Alanna asked Maeda if he was healthy today, on the post game show.

      I thought that was an odd question.

      Maybe there is more to Maeda, that has caused him, to pitch this badly, in his last few games.

      That we don’t know about.

      I still think that baseball screw the Dodgers and the Nationals, by makin them play the eariler game.

      The Giant game starts at 6:30, and they were home way before the Dodgers.

  22. This debacle is not about having or not having depth. It is about not acquiring legitimate SP’ers, and not addressing no hitting WRISP for the last three years, and finally the inbility of this team to hit LH pitching. Washington exposed those flaws. Chicago will expose them in spades.

    And no, you do not risk the remaining career of CK by starting him in game four.
    On three days rest he might last less innings than Maeda and leave needing surgery.

    1. No doubt, your points are all good. Starting pitching is questionable, at best. It was a gamble that FAZ took after letting Greinke go. They had to do something. The problems really started before last season, when Kershaw and Greinke were the best 1-2 punch in baseball. They didn’t bring on anyone to follow their act in the 3,4,5 spot. They also didn’t address their problems at bat as we see in the inability to hit lefties.

      Now we have the existential problem of whether to throw in Kershaw and risk injury or go for broke. Do we really think going for broke with this team is going to give the Dodgers the World Series? If you think that, you play Kershaw. If you are a realist, you don’t. With the Cubs, probably the next team we could face, our chances are even slimmer, and without Kershaw, no chance.

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