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.