The Washington Nationals traveled to LA with hopes of sneaking out a win or two against the 2020 World Series Champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers, however still dealing with the COVID-19 issues, the Nationals weren’t able to muster any consistent offense during the series. The only offense that the Nationals were able to put together came on Saturday night when the Nationals were able to score five runs from 15 hits.
On Friday, we saw the 2021 debut of Joe Ross, who was extremely impressive. Ross pitched a total of five innings, giving up no runs, and had a pitching total of 67, with 40 of them being strikes. The only scoring during Friday afternoon’s game came from a solo home run from LA’s Justin Turner at the bottom of the sixth after Dave Martinez pulled Ross.
On Saturday night, the Washington Nationals sent their number three pitcher and left-hander Patrick Corbin to the mound for his first 2021 season.
Juan Soto hit his first two home runs of the 2021 season on Saturday night, driving in a total of three runs. Soto’s second home run of the night came right after he fouled a ball off the top of his right foot. Soto would end up playing the rest of the game and playing on Sunday night’s game.
Left-hander Patrick Corbin made his 2021 season debut on Saturday night. Corbin only pitched five innings with a total of 80 pitches. Corbin lasted 4 1/3 innings for the night, allowing six runs on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Targeted for 75 pitches in his debut, Corbin threw 80 pitches, 48 for strikes.
On Sunday, hoping to leave LA without being swept, the Nationals started their ace: Max Scherzer ended up giving up one run (on a flyball lost in the sun) on three hits over six sharp innings and 90 pitches. The only run that Scherzer gave up came off a Zach McKinstry RBI double to the center-field wall that seemed to get lost in the sun by a chasing Victor Robles.
Scherzer kept the game close when he left, and it was the bullpen this time that couldn’t hold the Dodgers to one run. Reliever Tanner Rainey turned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-0 deficit when he gave up a two-run home run, and that’s all the Dodgers would need with the Nationals offense and lineup depleted for now.
However, the Nationals weren’t able to figure out another three-time CY Young award winner Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw making his second start of the 2021 season, went six scoreless innings, 86 pitches. Kershaw only gave up five hits, struck out six, and pitched a total of 54 strikes.
At the end of the game, the Nationals were shut out for the third time in four games, and it’s now off to St. Louis, where the Nationals hope that they are one step closer to full strength as Josh Bell, Kyle Schwarber, and Josh Harrison could be with the team to start the series and a brand new week.
The Nationals are now 1-5 and have lost five straight games and the Nationals have been shut out for the third time in six games.