Dodgers @ Nationals Oct. 8, 2016: NLDS Game 2

Pretty good start to the series, eh? Sure, it was stressful, but the Dodgers ultimately prevailed behind a strong showing from the bullpen.

Dodgers
Nationals
1:08 p.m.
D.C.
2B
Utley
CF 
Turner
SS
Seager
RF
Harper
3B
Turner
LF 
 Werth
1B
Gonzalez
2B
 Murphy
RF
Reddick
3B 
 Rendon
CF
Pederson
1B
 Zimmerman
C
Grandal SS  Espinosa
LF
Toles
C
Lobaton
P
Hill (L)
P
Roark (R)

In National League Division Series history, teams that have won Game 1 of a series have gone on to win the series 70 percent of the time. So that’s good.

As for Game 2, well it’s scheduled to start at just after 1 p.m. PST, but Mother Nature has different plans.

I’d be awfully shocked if this game’s first pitch is at 1:08 p.m. It appears the best window for getting Game 2 in (at least, most of it) is between 2 and 5 p.m.

—–

On the field, the Dodgers are deploying the same lineup as yesterday (save Rich Hill starting for Clayton Kershaw, obviously) against Nationals’ righty Tanner Roark. Just because Roark, 30, isn’t a household name doesn’t mean he isn’t a good pitcher.

Roark threw 210 innings for the Nats and posted a 2.83 ERA, 3.79 FIP, 20.1 K%, 8.5 BB%, .225 batting average against. Here’s a breakdown of his arsenal:

Pitch Avg. Velo Usage
4-Seam Fastball 93.2 17.3
Sinker 92.8 45.0
Curveball 78.0 12.6
Slider 86.1 15.0
Changeup 84.5 9.8

Being primarily a sinkerballer, Roark had the 19th-best ground ball rate at 48.7 percent. It’s a solid number, but he isn’t Marcus Stroman (60.1 GB%) or Dallas Keuchel (56.7) on the bump. He can get a little wild as well, as he walked 73 hitters and hit the third most batters (13) in baseball this season.

With Stephen Strasburg down, Roark is the defacto No. 2 starter for Washington. I thought they might go with Gio Gonzalez so he could pitch in front of the home crowd, but Dusty Baker opted for the better pitcher in Roark.

Roark faced the Dodgers on June 21 and lasted 7 1/3 innings. He was doing well until that eighth inning when Yasmani Grandal touched him up for a 3-run home run that decided the game.

—–

I might dive into Kershaw’s start in a future post, but he definitely wasn’t himself. I’m just glad to hear it wasn’t anything injury-related.

As well they should be, as tomorrow is an off-day and the uncertain weather is sure to play a factor in today’s game.

Simple. To the point. And hard to disagree.

If Kershaw doesn’t go on short rest, the only other option is Ross Stripling. If not Kershaw, Julio Urias is the best option. The best thing would be if the Dodgers weren’t down 1-2 come Game 4.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He does contracts and depth charts for FanGraphs and is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a one-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, California, and has yet to be shot.