The Dodgers are back at home after completing a 4-3 road trip. Sure they ended the trip on a down note after being shutout by Milwaukee right hander Zach Davies on Sunday. But a 4-3 road trip with two ninth-inning come from behind wins is nothing to scoff at. The Dodgers are 35-23 and currently sit in second place a half game behind Colorado in the NL west.
The Nationals have the best record in the National League (35-20) and are not to be trifled with. They are just as good as they were last year and possibly better. Bryce Harper is having another MVP year and now veteran first baseman Ryan Zimmerman is also having an outstanding season. Zimmerman is hitting .374 this season and leads the league in all three triple crown categories of batting, runs batted in and home runs. The Nationals are very good and the Dodgers better bring their A-game.
Dodgers vs. Nationals
Gio Gonzalez-4-1 vs. Hyun-jin Ryu-2-5
Game Time – 7:10 PM – TV-SNLA
Opposing the Dodgers one the mound will be left hander Gio Gonzalez. The veteran southpaw is having a solid year posting a 4-1 record and a 3.03 ERA. Gonzalez has had some issues with his control this year walking 35 in 68.1 frames and posting a 4.6 BB per nine rate. In 5 career starts against the Dodgers Gonzalez is 3-1 with a 1.69 ERA. He’s posted a 2.25 ERA in 3 career starts at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers have never been able to hit him.
Gonzalez vs. Dodgers
The Dodgers will be countering with Hyun-jin Ryu. The left handed hurler has not had a great season as he attempts to pitch a full season for the first time in three years. Ryu is 2-5 with a 3.91 ERA in 9 games and 8 starts. He had a successful relief appearance that resulted in a rare four-inning save. However he is allowing 9.2 hits per nine innings. Too many hits and way too many hittable pitches up in the zone have been his undoing. Ryu has struck out 42 and walked 17 in 46 innings pitched. He’s allowed 8 home runs as well, so the long ball has been a huge problem for him. Ryu has never faced the Nationals but the current group is 6 for 15 against him.
Ryu vs. Nationals
The Nationals have some injury problems too. Adam Eaton is out for the season and the club is still without Jayson Werth who is nursing a sore foot. Former Dodger Joe Blanton is on the DL with right shoulder inflammation. According to Numberfire the Dodgers have a 52.7% chance of winning the series opener.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM. Don’t sleep on this one.
6 thoughts on “Preview: Here Comes The Nationals”
Ryu doing well so far, one big mistake to Rendon. Kike has actually made a couple of good plays at 1st. Turner at RC for rehab start….whoops, Wieters a 2 out single to score 2….3-0 now…….
Brandon Morrow just looked good going 1-2-3 vs their murderer’s row (granted Zimmerman hit a hard ground ball to short). This definitely gets him into higher leverage situations now.
He pitched 2 solid innings, I think that alone moves him past Hatcher and Romo. 1 for 10 with men in scoring position. That is just flat out pitiful. They had Gonzalez on the ropes and let him off. The terrible strike 3 call on Utley in the 9th and then Cody’s double. Puig hit a really hard grounder that hit the mound and that slowed it down enough to throw him out. Then Grandal is caught looking at strike 3. What ever happened to protecting the plate with 2 strikes? Especially when you have a shot to at least score a run and if you really hit it, tie the game. Grandal is now 2-19 this month. So much for being one of the hottest hitters in the majors.
Down on the farm. Turner went 1-3 tonight with RC, game still in progress……Urias 5 1/3 innings giving up 3 runs, but got the win. Bellinger no longer #1 prospect…..that is now Alvarez. Kike made some nice plays at first, but I am really getting tired of Joe and Orel saying this is a great offensive year for Kike. He has been having his best year? Are you guys nuts? His BA is .235, his best year was 2 years ago when he hit .307 with 7 homers. He is not even hitting lefty’s well this year and that is supposed to be his strength. Eibner is a bust also, under the Mendoza line now. Gutierrez less than impressive in this game. Bat looks really slow. Ump’s strike zone against Utley in the 9th was lousy. Nice double by Bellinger, they bring in a lefty to turn Grandal around because he has little power from the right side. Nice AB Grandal you BUM!
I think this will be a frustrating month. Kershaw won’t get at run support and the platoons will fail. But I think all of the NL West teams go into a funk this month and we just need to tread water.
Grandal cooling off is expected. We just need him in Sept and Oct, but if he’s in a slump at that time, then Roberts needs to switch to Barnes without hesitation. Barnes is a grinder and has been a great pinch hitter – I give him a lot of credit for producing and it speaks well to his mindset. Clutch.