LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers made the choice they always make, deciding to start Clayton Kershaw on three days rest in Game 4, needing to beat the Nationals on Tuesday afternoon to stay alive. But the question is, will the Dodgers’ offense show up?
Joe Ross starts for the Nationals, who were also considering rookie Reynaldo Lopez in Game 4.
Kershaw has pitched quite well on short rest in each of the last three NLDS, with a 1.89 ERA, 23 strikeouts and four walks in 19 innings.
The Dodgers have scored just nine total runs in those three games, including seven total runs with Kershaw in the game, and have won two of the three.
That brings us to another main problem for the Dodgers in this NLDS, scoring just nine total runs in the series while hitting .220/.304/.360, including 2-for-18 (.111) with runners in scoring position. During this current four-year playoff run, the Dodgers have had trouble scoring runs, tallying four or more runs just eight times in 22 games, averaging just 3.68 runs per game.
The Dodgers are 6-2 in those games they have scored four or more runs, and are 3-11 when they don’t.
Justin Turner is 4-for-8 with a home run and four walks in the NLDS, and Corey Seager is 3-for-13 with all three hits run-scoring extra-base knocks in the first inning of each of the first three games.
The rest of the team is 15-for-79 (.190) with one home run, one double and six walks.
That needs to change, or today will be the last day of the series, no matter how well Kershaw pitches.
Game 4 info
Series: Nationals lead Dodgers, 2-1
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
Time: 2:05 p.m. PT
TV: Fox Sports 1 (Kenny Albert, Tom Verudcci, Harold Reynolds, Jon Morosi)
Local radio: 570 AM (Charley Steiner and Rick Monday)
National radio: ESPN Radio (Dave O’Brien, Jim Bowden)