Not a lot of time to recover for both the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers, heading into game 4 of their NLDS, with the Nats winning the last two games to take the 2-1 lead.
The Dodgers opened the series with a win, but their starting pitching has been woeful in all three games, and their bullpen – specifically their superstar closer, failed to deliver in game 3, allowing the Nationals to score four times in the ninth inning. Overall Washington have been doing a good job at the plate, and need one solid pitching performance from a starter to ease up the pressure from their lineup.
Previous game: The Nats won 8-3, getting home runs from Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth. Kenta Maeda didn’t pitch very well in his first ever major league playoff game, but the big disappointment came from Kenley Jansen, giving up four runs in the ninth inning, which is very unlike his usual performances.
Starting pitchers: The Dodgers and the Nationals still haven’t decided. The Dodgers are trying to figure out if they’re going with Clayton Kershaw, who will pitch on a 3-day rest, or Julio Urias, the rookie. Kershaw gave up 8 hits in five innings along with 3 runs in game 1, with the Dodgers winning 4-3. Urias has been terrific in the second half of the season, posting a 3.39 ERA through 18 games and 15 starts, and had a 1.93 ERA in 14 innings during September, getting a very limited session each time.
The Nationals will decide between Joe Ross and Reynaldo Lopez. The 23-year old Ross has a 3.43 ERA this season through 105 innings, but he’s not been too difficult to hit against. Lopez is a 22-year old rookie who has been a lot less consistent, with just 1.91 in his k/bb ratio, posting a -0.1 WAR in 2016.
Hot bats: There’s only been one consistent hitter for the Dodgers in the postseason so far, Justin Turner, batting .500. Corey Seager has been the most productive with a couple of home runs and 3 RBIs. The Nationals seem to have a lot more going for them: Ryan Zimmerman, Daniel Murphy and Jayson Werth are all batting better than .400 so far in the postseason.