The Dodgers will have their chance to advance to their fourth consecutive National League Championship Series tonight. After a seven-run sixth inning yesterday gave the Dodgers the win, LA now leads the best-of-five series over the Nationals, 2-1.
Getting the start for the Dodgers will be Rich Hill. It was an up-and-down season for the 39-year-old, as he spent a good portion of the season on the Injured List. Overall, he was very effective in the 13 games he did pitch this season. He went 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA, while striking out 72 in 58 2⁄3 innings.
After missing over two months, he returned in September, where he made three appearances. In those outings, he pitched only 5 2⁄3 innings, striking out 11.
For Hill, this will be his 13th career postseason appearance, and his 12th with the Dodgers. Since joining LA, he has made 10 starts, posting an ERA of 2.66 while holding opponents to an average of under .200. Back in 2016, Hill pitched in two games at Nationals Park in the divisional series. He allowed five runs in a combined seven innings, while striking out 13.
Hill actually made the start in game 5 three years ago, though he only pitched 2 2⁄3 innings. He allowed a run and struck out six.
On the other side, the Nationals will be turning to their ace and Cy-Young candidate, Max Scherzer. This will be his first start in the series against the Dodgers, though they did face him for an inning in game 2, where he came out of the bullpen for a scoreless inning.
“The thing that obviously that is most concerning is his stuff,” manager Dave Roberts said about his team going up against Scherzer. “It’s three plus pitches. He can beat you in the strike zone with three pitches, he can beat you out of the zone. He’s relentless. It’s just really hard to game plan with a guy that can use, has different weapons to get ahead or put you away. So that’s probably, that’s why he’s one of the best in the game and has been for the last call it five years. So that’s probably the thing that scares me and he’s a hard guy to prepare for.”
Scherzer pitched in the Wild Card game last week against Milwaukee. He threw five innings, allowing three runs and striking out six.
Overall, he’s pitched in 18 postseason games, with an ERA of 3.78. Since joining the Nationals, he’s 0-2 with an ERA of just under four, and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3-to-1. In game 5 of the 2016 NLDS, Scherzer allowed only one run in six innings, which was a game-tying home run off the bat of Joc Pederson to lead-off the seventh inning.
The latest news surrounding the Dodgers
Roberts wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Hyun-Jin Ryu pitching out of the bullpen if there’s a Game 5.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) October 7, 2019
Roberts said he did not consider starting Martin today after his big game last night. “I feel very confident going with Will (Smith),” Roberts said.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) October 7, 2019
Roberts said he’s confident rookies Beaty, Smith and Lux can handle the stage of the postseason.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) October 7, 2019
Roberts said the biggest difference in this year’s offense from previous years is the ability of left-handed hitters to succeed against left-handed pitching.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) October 7, 2019
Here are the starting lineups for today
First pitch is at 3:40 p.m. PT on TBS.