After finishing up the final series of the regular season on the road in San Francisco this weekend, the Dodgers will have four full days to strategize and prepare before opening the 2016 postseason on Friday, October 7 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
The club’s fate was sealed with a 3-0 loss at the hands of the Giants on Saturday. Southpaw starter Ty Blach gave the Dodgers fits all afternoon, surrendering only three hits and one walk in eight shutout innings of work. Despite being tagged with the loss, resident ace Clayton Kershaw appeared as if he was untouchable until outfielder Angel Pagan opened the scoring in the bottom of the fifth frame with a solo home run into the left field stands. The Giants eventually added two additional unearned runs in the seventh inning, stemming from an errant throw to first base by Justin Turner which ended up in right field.
With the victory, the Giants inched closer to clinching a playoff berth of their own. With a win or a Cardinals loss on Sunday, the Giants will secure the second wild card spot and face the Mets on Wednesday. With a loss and a Cardinals win, the Giants will head to St. Louis for a one-game playoff on Monday.
The Dodgers won five of six games against the Nationals this season, including a three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium that concluded on June 22. In their last visit to Nationals Park in mid-July, the Boys in Blue stole two of three games, highlighted by a two-home run and five RBI performance by Turner in the finale on July 21.
Los Angeles will host Game 3 at Dodger Stadium on Monday, October 10, as well as Game 4 on Tuesday, if necessary. If a fifth game is needed to decide the series, the Dodgers would travel back to Washington for the conclusive contest on Thursday.
With a starting rotation of Kershaw, Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda already announced, the Dodgers will presumably face Washington righties Max Scherzer and Tanner Roark in the first two affairs, followed by lefty Gio Gonzalez in Game 3. Los Angeles did not face Scherzer at all during the regular season.
Maeda will get one final tuneup in San Francisco on Sunday, squaring off against Giants’ lefty Matt Moore. First pitch is slated for 12:05 p.m. local time.