In a move that was not in the least bit surprising on Tuesday, Clayton Kershaw was named the Game 1 starter for the Dodgers in the National League Division Series against the Nationals as manager Dave Roberts set the bulk of his postseason rotation.
Rich Hill will follow in Game 2, then Kenta Maeda will start Game 3 against Washington.
The Game 4 starter is still to be determined but Julio Urias, who was tabbed to start Thursday against the Padres, remains a possibility to fill that fourth starter role in October.
The NLDS will begin on Friday, Oct. 7 at a site yet to be determined.
The Nationals are now two games ahead of the Dodgers with five left to play, after beating the Diamondbacks 4-2 on Tuesday night. Washington only had three hits, but one was a three-run home run by Anthony Rendon in a four-run sixth inning that gave the Nationals the win.
Nationals 92-65 (.586)
Dodgers 90-67 (.573) 2 GB
Los Angeles owns the tiebreaker, and needs 7 of the 10 remaining games for the two teams to fall their way to clinch home field advantage in the NLDS.
Washington got bad news off the field on Tuesday, with MRI results confirming a torn ACL for catcher Wilson Ramos, who will miss the rest of the season.
In addition, a strained flexor mass that has sidelined pitcher Stephen Strasburg will likely keep him out of the NLDS, too. Per Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post:
“I think it would be kind of pushing it,” General Manager Mike Rizzo said. “I think that’s fair to say. Again, I haven’t seen him after his throwing program today, but just the calendar, it’s unlikely that he’d contribute in that first series.”
Strasburg last pitched on Sept. 7.
Nationals 4, Diamondbacks 2
4:05 p.m.: Diamondbacks (Shelby Miller) vs. Nationals (Gio Gonzalez)
7:10 p.m.: Dodgers (Jose De Leon) at Padres (Luis Perdomo)