When and where: October 7, 2019, Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., 6:40 PM ET
The Los Angeles Dodgers will have an opportunity to close out the Washington Nationals in Monday’s Game 3 of the ensuing National League Divisional Series. After being put on the ropes early in Game 2 on Sunday, the Dodgers exploded with seven runs in the sixth inning to sink the Nationals’ hopes of back-to-back wins. Rich Hill would love to sink the Nationals hopes of forcing a Game 5 when he starts on the mound for the Dodgers against Max Scherzer.
Dodgers respond to adversityAfter getting upset at home by the Nationals on Friday, the Dodgers got off to another ugly offensive start in Sunday’s Game 2 of the NLDS. It looked like the Nationals were about to shut them down at the plate and hang consecutive losses on their head, which would have put them in a two-game hole.
And then the sixth inning floodgates opened.
Huge doubles hit by Russell Martin and Enrique Hernandez, along with a home run by Justin Turner, gave the Dodgers an 8-2 lead. They would hold on and close out the game with a 10-4 victory and a chance to move on to the NLCS on Monday.
Nothing is promised in the postseason, and the Dodgers showed an ability to dig deep and pull out some magic when they really needed it. Those are the kinds of wins that build the character needed to win a championship.
Hill, 39, will lend his arm in Monday’s Game 3 against the Nationals. The veteran lefty is throwing a 2.45 ERA with a 1.13 WHIP and 4-1 record on the season. He wrapped up the regular season with a four-decision win streak. In his last postseason appearance against the Boston Red Sox, he only gave up one earned run in six-plus innings on the mound.
Corbin meltdown could cost the Nationals the seriesThe Nationals had the opportunity of a lifetime to put the No. 1-ranked Dodgers in a 2-1 hole, but a sixth-inning defensive collapse with pitcher Patrick Corbin on the mound nixed those hopes. His second taste of playoff action ended with him giving up four hits and six earned runs before getting replaced by Wander Suero. The entire Nationals’ pitching lineup was responsible for 10 earned runs on the evening, which ultimately resulted in the Dodgers’ victory.
On offense, the Nationals were completely shutout in the last three innings of the game by the Dodgers’ bullpen. It isn’t surprising considering the NLDS has been a roadblock for the Nationals for the last 35 years. They put up a valiant effort in Game 2, but reality is finally starting to set in after Sunday’s lopsided loss.
Perhaps the Nationals really are in over their heads.
Scherzer hopes to change that narrative when he starts on the mound against the Dodgers on Monday. The 35-year-old right-handed pitcher notched a one-inning shutout under his belt in Friday’s relief effort in the series. That game followed him giving up three earned runs in the Wild Card game against the Milwaukee Brewers. He is throwing a 2.92 ERA with a 1.03 WHIP and 11-7 record on the season.
- Nationals are 3-7 in their last 10 playoff home games.
- Nationals are 2-7 in their last 9 Divisional Playoff home games.
- Dodgers are 7-2 in Hills last 9 starts against a team with a winning record.
- Dodgers are 22-7 in Hills last 29 starts.
- Dodgers are 20-8 in Hills last 28 road starts.
- Dodgers are 39-19 in Hills last 58 starts on grass.