Dodgers Vs. Nationals Preview: Kershaw Faces Difficult Test
After a 6-4 defeat in the first game of the series, the Los Angeles Dodgers look to rebound as they try to avoid losing their second consecutive series. The Dodgers currently trail the Washington Nationals for the best record in the National League by two games, which means consecutive victories to end the series would tie the teams in the standings.
In their attempt to get back in the win column, the Dodgers send Clayton Kershaw to the mound. In 22 starts this season, the southpaw is 16-3 with a 1.73 ERA. Kershaw is once again dominating most pitching statistics as he leads the NL in wins, ERA, WHIP and complete games.
Kershaw has made nine career starts against the Nationals and is 6-2 with a 2.79 ERA. Included in his six wins is a four-game winning streak, with one win coming this season. The lefty has pitched at least seven innings in each start dating back to June 8 when he only went five innings.
However, a caveat to that is the game was called due to inclement weather and Kershaw finsihed with a complete-game win. Remove that outing from the equation and the last time Kershaw didn’t pitch a minimum of seven innings was May 23.
The Nationals counter the Dodgers’ ace by sending Doug Fister to the hill. In 20 starts, the Merced, Calif. native is 12-5 with a 2.55 ERA this season. In his first season as a National, Fister has exceeded his expectations and is being considered for a starter’s role should the Nationals make the postseason.
The right-handed pitcher is in the midst of an excellent season, but has struggled recently. In his last two starts, the 30 year old has suffered two losses; he allowed a combined 17 hits and eight earned runs in just 11.2 innings pitched. The five-year veteran faces the Dodgers for the first time in his career.
Joc Pederson makes his first career start tonight in center field as the struggling Yasiel Puig gets the night off. Carl Crawford returns to the starting lineup in place of Scott Van Slyke.
Dodgers Dugout Bubble Parties Are Here To Stay