Series Preview: Nationals Go on the Road to Face the Dodgers
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 and questionable to play in this series.
Let’s look at the projected pitching matchups for the weekend series at Dodgers Stadium.
Friday, April 9, RHP Joe Ross (0-0, -.— ERA) vs. RHP Walker Buehler (0-0, 3.00 ERA) | First Pitch: 4:10 pm EST
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.
This Friday’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.
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.
As of Thursday night, there have been no updates on whether any of the quarantined players will make the trip and if so, when they will arrive in LA. So far, the only comment from Manager Dave Martinez is that Joe Ross will start and that is all that he knows.
The game can be seen on MASN 2 and heard on 106.7, the Fan.
Saturday, April 10, TBD vs. LHP Julio Urias (1-0, 1.29 ERA) | First Pitch: 9:10 pm EST
Outside of Joe Ross Friday night, we are unsure of who the starter will be for the Saturday night leg of this three-game series. If Jon Lester or Patrick Corbin clear Covid protocols, it is likely one of them would make the start. ESPN currently lists Max Scherzer as the starter for Sunday, but there could be some rotation manipulation to potentially start Scherzer on Saturday and possibly Strasburg on Sunday depending on how Martinez and the staff want to plan out this series.
Dodgers LHP Julio Urias will be making his first appearance against Washington since the 2019 NLDS, where he posted a 7.36 ERA in 3 2/3 inning over three appearances against that iteration of the Nationals. Players have come and gone since then, but there are many familiar faces coming back to Dodger Stadium to face Urias.
Sunday, April 11, RHP Max Scherzer (0-0, 6.00 ERA) vs. RHP Dustin May (1-0, 0.00 ERA) | First Pitch: 4:10 pm EST
The finale of this road series could see Washington throw Max Scherzer against the LA Dodgers and youngster Dustin May. In 81 2/3 innings against the Dodgers, Scherzer is 5-4 with a 2.76 ERA and 92 strikeouts. Of course, having its ace on the mound is an ideal scenario for Washington, but it remains to be seen what Davey Martinez elects to do with his starters this weekend.
The Nationals will be facing off against the 23-year-old May, who is already rounding into a star pitcher. In 2020, the 6’6” righty was 3-1 in 10 starts with a 2.57 ERA. In a perfect world, the Washington Nationals will have most, if not all, of their COVID list players back to be at full strength to face LA.
Series Notes: Los Angeles Dodgers
- The Dodgers are currently 5-2, scoring 4 or more runs in 6 of their 7 games thus far.
- The Dodgers are being lead 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.
Edited by: Jonathan Mailloux
Latest on The Nats Report
- The Morning Briefing: The Nationals win a series in the desert! Now, off to the Windy City!
- Washington Nationals v. Chicago Cubs Series Preview (May 17, 2021 – May 20, 2021)
- Former Washington Nationals Pitcher Jordan Zimmermann Announces Retirement
- The Morning Briefing: Nationals to face Phillies; DC to allow full capacity at Nationals Park beginning June 11
- Josh Bell was named Player Ambassador to Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy.