Dodgers vs. Nationals is potential playoff preview missing parts – Daily News

0
19



WASHINGTON, D.C – If this is a preview, it is a movie trailer lacking some of the stars.

It is presumptuous to think the Dodgers and Washington Nationals will meet in the playoffs. If things stay as they are, the Dodgers would have to pass a first-round challenge from the wild-card winner (which could be the Arizona Diamondbacks, who won the final six games head-to-head with the Dodgers) and the Nationals would have to knock out the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs to set up a Dodgers-Nationals NLCS.

But it is possible.

“I don’t think we need to make a statement. But I do think it’s important for us to play good baseball,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before his team took the first two games of its series in Washington. “And with baseball, there is a psychological component to pitcher-batter, team vs. team that I think you can’t really quantify. But I think there is something to it.

“We lost a series to these guys at home. For us to go into their ballpark, a team that is playing well – I think it’s important, not only just because it’s the Nationals but also for us internally just to play good baseball. If we do that, that’s a statement enough.”

Nationals manager Dusty Baker looked at the matchup as a chance to gather more information about a potential playoff opponent – one that went through some rough times recently.

“Something happened over there where Arizona has learned a whole bunch about them and we know nothing about them,” Baker said to reporters Friday. “So I think it’s great that we’re playing them this late. Even if they learn something on us, we learn a whole bunch about them.”

Neither manager is showing all his cards, however.

The Dodgers are giving Clayton Kershaw an extra day’s rest and won’t start him until Monday in Philadelphia. The Nationals will not face him or Yu Darvish, who has faced them just once in his career (three years ago). The Nationals similarly maneuvered their rotation so the Dodgers will not face Max Scherzer or Gio Gonzalez in this series.

By taking early leads in the games Friday and Saturday, the Dodgers have also not seen the Nationals’ new closer, Sean Doolittle, who was acquired mid-season from Oakland.

“I think you do that with everyone,” Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said when asked if it would help to see pitchers he could potentially face again next month. “You try to put together a mental blog on everyone so if you face them again there’s a gameplan or approach started.

“The good thing about living in 2017 is there are like 5,000 cameras so you can go back and watch everything if you can’t remember it.”

LEFT OUT

The Dodgers will start someone in left field during the playoffs. They just don’t know who that will be yet.

“No,” Roberts said Saturday when asked if the picture had grown any more clear. “No more clarity. Clarity would help.

“It’s still tough because the challenge is running one particular guy out there vs. trying to share the opportunity. You could argue both sides.”

With his start Saturday, Curtis Granderson has received half of the 16 starts in left field this month with Andre Ethier getting four, Kike’ Hernandez two and Joc Pederson and O’Koyea Dickson one each. That group has combined to go 7 for 52 (.135) with one double, 15 strikeouts and seven walks in their starting assignments.

Ethier has been the most successful, going 5 for 12 with a double and a walk. Granderson is just 2 for 27 as the starting left fielder this month. Hernandez, Pederson and Dickson went a combined 0 for 13 with seven strikeouts when starting in left field.

ON TIME

Roberts said he spoke with outfielder Alex Verdugo about Verdugo showing up late to the ballpark Friday. Verdugo told Roberts he overslept and missed the team bus.

“We had a conversation,” Roberts said. “He was very apologetic and understands that he let the team down. So it won’t happen again. He assured me.

“It’s part of the learning curve. He’s a young player in the big leagues for the first time. He’s trying to do the right thing.”

ALSO

Roberts said right-hander Brandon McCarthy “pitched well” Friday in his rehab start for Double-A Tulsa and will join the Dodgers next weekend in Los Angeles and likely come off the DL then. McCarthy might pitch out of the bullpen in the final two weeks “to see how that looks.”

Right-hander Kenta Maeda will rejoin the rotation during the Dodgers’ series in Philadelphia next week. Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish will start Monday and Tuesday against the Phillies, followed by Alex Wood on Wednesday and Maeda on Thursday.



All Credit Goes To : Source link

Comments

comments

SHARE