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GameNotes: April 9, 2021 v. LA Dodgers

Today, the Washington Nationals head to the West Coast to play the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is the Home Opener for the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is the Nationals' first trip outside the eastern time zone since 2019. 

Game Notes Details

Washington Nationals (1-2) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (5-2) 
RHP Joe Ross #41 (0-0; 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Walker Buehler​​​​​​​ #21 (0-0; 3.00 ERA)
Friday, April 9, 2021 | 4:10 p.m. EDT | Game #4 | Road Game #1
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Radio: 106.7 the Fan
Sirius XM Radio: Channel 89

Today’s GameNotes

After finally being able to take the field for three games in 24 hours, the Washington Nationals begin their series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday with a 1-2 record. The Nationals are trying to bounce back after getting swept in a doubleheader on Wednesday, but they will have to do so while still having a handful of key players stuck in quarantine to play in this series. The Nationals and Dodgers will face each other seven times this year (4 in D.C., 3 in LA).


Trea Turner homered in back-to-back games to start the 2021 season, clubbing two-run homers on Opening Day and in Game 1 one of Wednesday’s doubleheaders. He also doubled on Wednesday giving him three extra-base hits so far this season.

Roster Moves

  • The Washington Nationals made the following roster moves on Friday.
  • Reinstated catcher Alex Avila, catcher Yan Gomes, left-handed pitcher Brad Hand and infielder Jordy
  • Mercer from the Injured List.
  • Optioned catcher Tres Barrera and right-handed pitcher Ryne Harper and added them to the Taxi Squad.
  • Optioned infielder Carter Kieboom to the Alternate Training Site (Fredericksburg).
  • Returned outfielder Cody Wilson to the Alternate Training Site (Fredericksburg).
  • Placed outfielder Gerardo Parra, infielder Adrián Sanchez, and left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland on the Taxi Squad.

Pitching Matchup

Right Handed Pitcher Joe Ross will be making his first appearance in 2021 and his first since Game 5 of the 2019 World Series. On Friday afternoon, Ross will be matched up against a very potent Dodgers lineup that is averaging just over six runs per game this season. In 2019, Ross pitched to a 5.48 ERA in 64 IP, but showed marked signs of improvement towards the latter part of the season in a starting role.

Ross only had two appearances against the Dodgers in 2019, striking out two in a scoreless inning of relief in May and getting tagged for seven runs in 4 2/3 innings to take the loss in a July relief appearance. 

Today’s matchup between the Nationals and Dodgers will be the first since Howie Kendrick’s famous, go-ahead Grand Slam in Game 5 of the 2019 NLDS at Chavez Ravine. 

Right Handed Pitcher Walker Buehler will take the ball for the Dodgers against the Washington Nationals this Friday in Los Angeles’ Home Opener. The 26-year-old right-hander has three career appearances against Washington, posting a 3.38 ERA while holding Nationals hitters to a .250 average and 21 total bases. 

Washington Nationals Story Lines

  • The Nationals open a three-game series against the LA Dodgers which will be the first time the two teams will go-head-to-head since Howie Kendrick‘s extra-innings grand slam propelled the Nationals to victory in the decisive Game 5 of the 2019 National League Division Series.
    Joe Ross will make his first start since Game 5 of the 2019 World Series after he elected not to play in 2020. Ross has a 7.02 ERA in 16 2/3 innings over his career against the LA Dodgers. 
    The Nationals have yet to name its other starters for the series, however, Max Scherzer would be on normal rest on Sunday’s finale.
  • Josh Bell, Kyle Schwarber, Jon Lester, and Jordy Mercer have not yet cleared protocols and remain quarantined, per Davey Martinez.
  • Washington Nationals closer Brad Hand was able to pitch an inning in a simulated game in Fredericksburg. Could be able to pitch late in today’s game. Yan Gomes and Alex Avila also got some ABs in Fredericksburg.
  • Patrick Corbin flew to Los Angeles today and he’s been cleared through coronavirus protocols per Washington Nationals Manager Davey Martinez. Corbin will throw on flat ground today and work out at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles Dodgers Story Lines

  • Today the Los Angeles Dodgers will raise their own World Series Championship Flag in their home opener and pass out rings to all players and staff members, something that the Nationals never had a chance to do in Washington D.C. last year.
  • The Dodgers are currently 5-2, scoring 4 or more runs in 6 of their 7 games thus far.
  • In his 2021 season debut against the Rockies, Walker Buehler struck out four and allowed two runs over six innings. 
  • The Dodgers are being led on offense by SS Corey Seager who is batting .423 through 26 AB. Star outfielder Mookie Betts is not far behind him, hitting .348. 
  • In their 7 games, the Dodgers have proven to be a potent offense scoring 10+ runs in two games already. However, they are coming off an extra-innings loss to the Athletics on Wednesday. 
  • The Dodgers will likely be without slugger Cody Bellinger, who is dealing with a sore calf muscle.

Game Lineups (Subject To Change without Notice)

Washington Nationals

Victor Robles – CF
Trea Turner – SS
Juan Soto – RF
Ryan Zimmerman – 1B
Starlin Castro – 3B
Andrew Stevenson – LF
Luis García – 2B
Jonathan Lucroy – C
Joe Ross – RHP

Los Angeles Dodgers

Chris Taylor – CF
Corey Seager – SS
Justin Turner – 3B
Max Muncy – 1B
Will Smith – C
Gavin Lux – 2B
AJ Pollock – LF
Zach McKinstry – RF
Walker Buehler – P

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