Armed with the best record in the National League, the Dodgers will host the Washington Nationals for a four-game weekend set beginning on Thursday at Dodger Stadium.
Quality starting pitching has been synonymous with the Nats over the past few years, and although their performance has been mostly substandard this season, the marquee names on hand could still provide some sparkling matchups.
Currently, the Nationals are ranked second-to-last in the National League when it comes to overall pitching, just a few ticks ahead of the Rockies. Washington’s starting pitching is ranked right in the middle of the pack at eighth, but their bullpen has been horrific. The Nationals’ relief corps is ranked dead-last, having surrendered a whopping 75 earned runs over 105-1/3 innings of work.
It is fair to say, though, that the Washington bullpen is still quite beat-up. Hard-throwing righty Trevor Rosenthal remains on the 10-day injured list with a stomach malady that had spurred significant weight loss and muscle fatigue. Also on the shelf are righty Austen Williams and lefty specialist Tony Sipp.
In contrast, the Dodgers are ranked fifth in the NL in overall pitching. The Los Angeles starters are ranked fifth in the league while the relief crew is ranked 11th.
Offensively, the Nats have also been hampered by a handful of very untimely injuries. Ryan Zimmerman, Juan Soto, Trea Turner and Matt Adams are on the shelf with an assortment of maladies. Theoretically, Soto, who has been dealing with back spasms for more than a week, could be returning to the team as soon as Saturday.
The Nationals are currently ranked ninth in the NL as far as run production goes. Right fielder Adam Eaton leads the team with a .293 average and 43 hits while Soto is the team leader with 22 RBI. Anthony Rendon leads the club with six long balls.
With a whopping 214 runs scored, the Dodgers are far and away the best run-producing squad on the Senior Circuit, translating to an impressive 5.49 runs per game. After quite a bit of daylight, the Cubs are second in the NL with 196 runs scored.
Although it appears he may finally be simmering, Cody Bellinger still leads the league with a .394 average and 38 RBI. He’s second with 14 long balls, trailing Christian Yelich, who has 16 entering Thursday’s games.
Washington begins the series having lost four straight games and 12 of their last 16.
Starting pitching matchups are as follows:
Thursday—LHP Rich Hill (0-0, 3.60 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 9 K) vs. LHP Patrick Corbin (2-0, 3.72 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 50 K)
Friday—RHP Kenta Maeda (3-2, 4.66 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 34 K) vs. RHP Anibal Sanchez (0-5, 5.15 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 36 K)
Saturday—RHP Walker Buehler (4-0, 4.95 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 32 K) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (1-4, 3.78 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 72 K)
Sunday—LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-1, 2.13 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 45 K) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (3-2, 3.71 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 68 K)
Start times for both Thursday and Friday’s games are set for 7:10 PM Los Angeles time. Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 6:10 PM, and Sunday’s matinee will begin at 1:10 PM.
9 thoughts on “Stellar Starting Pitching Headlines Home Series vs. Nationals”
Now we’ll see if we can hit good pitching.
That has not been the problem. They have pretty much beat up on starters and had problems with the pen. Run differential over the last 2 games was 14. Corbin though has always given the Dodgers fits.
Thursday’s lineup vs. lefty Corbin, Nationals:
I have to disagree bear. For me the jury is still out for me with our offense against top,tier pitching.
Ike the pitching we face in the playoffs. We’ve feasted on some mediocre starting pitching so far. The Cubs with Lester and Quintana shut us down. If we can light up Corbin, Scherzer and Strasburg I’ll,be impressed. The Nats are better than their record. The key is to work counts get the pitch count up and get into their pen. We complain about our pen but theirs is really atrocious! Kelly would be their star!
That’s cool. But chances of them beating up on Corbin are pretty slim. Last year in 4 starts he was 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA and 31 K’s in 23 innings. Scherzer is 1-4 and Sanchez is 0-5 so that looks pretty mediocre to me. Their outfield is a patchwork of players who are just filling in until the injured get back, including Gerardo Parra who was signed to a deal today. I am not sweating DC. With the personnel they have, they are not that big a threat. And so far the Dodgers are the most patient team in the league.
Failed first test. Better win tomorrow or could get swept. We feast on bad and mediocre pitching but that unfortunately is not what we face in October. Turner has been the only post season consistent stick. And on top of that we haven’t got much dominant pitching either. Maybe that’s why the last championship is 1988!
Old friend James Loney just retired. I liked Loney he had a good glove at 1B and always hit for a high average. He isn’t remembered as fondly as some other 1B of his time because he never hit for much power but you always knew you would get a professional AB from James.
Well a clunker happens now and then. This was it. A lot of people giving Kelly grief again, but Muncy’s error set the inning up for failure. That thing was a can of corn and Max totally blew it. Plus his golden sombrero night at the dish made it a very forgettable game for Max. Rich S, a little early for the sweep word. They are facing 2 guys who between them have 9 losses. Scherzer has not been Scherzer so far this season and Sanchez has be abysmal. By the way, since the run was unearned, Kelly’s ERA actually dropped. He is below 9 now. Best of luck to Loney. Still remember his 9 RBI game.