Nationals @ Dodgers June 5, 2017: Here come the Nats for an NLDS rematch

(Via)

The first-place Washington Nationals (35-20) come into town for the first time since the 2016 NLDS when the Dodgers (35-23) open a six-game homestand on Monday night.

Nationals
Dodgers
7:10 PM
Los Angeles
SS
Turner
3B 
Forsythe
LF
Raburn
SS
Seager
RF
Harper
2B
Taylor
1B
Zimmerman
LF
Gutierrez
2B
Murphy
 1B
Hernandez
3B
Rendon
C
Barnes
C
Wieters RF  Puig
CF
Taylor
CF
Eibner
P
 Gonzalez (L)
P
 Ryu (L)

The last time the Dodgers and Nats faced each other, it was in the 2016 National League Division Series. It was the second postseason meeting between the two clubs, but the first since the Expos-turned Nationals moved to D.C. There was no shortage of dramatic moments in the best-of-five series culminating when the Dodgers defeated the Nats in Game 5 at Nationals Park behind a rare Clayton Kershaw save. In true Dodgers fashion, the series finale lasted four hours and 32 minutes, setting the record for the longest nine-inning postseason game in Major League history. The Dodgers hope to beat the Nats in a more timely fashion on Monday night.

In a southpaw showdown, Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-5, 3.91 ERA, 4.85 FIP) takes the mound for the Dodgers in his second start in place of Alex Wood. Wood remains on the 10-day disabled list with SC joint inflammation. Ryu was not healthy enough to pitch in the NLDS last year, and this will be his first career start against the Nationals.

Last time out against the Cardinals, Ryu was effective. He went six innings, allowing one run on three hits while striking out four and walking one on 77 pitches. Unfortunately, an eighth-inning homer by Dexter Fowler off Ross Stripling spoiled the otherwise solid start by Ryu.

The Nationals beat the Dodgers 8-3 in Game 3 of the NLDS last October behind Gio Gonzalez (4-1, 3.03 ERA, 4.77 FIP). Gonzalez wasn’t involved in the decision, allowing three runs on four hits, including a two-run pinch-hit Carlos Ruiz homer. The Nats’ bullpen bested the Dodgers’ pen, including a rough ninth-inning by closer Kenley Jansen that began with the leadoff home run by Jayson Werth (10-day DL with a left foot contusion).

Gonzalez has had an up and down season, and his walk rate has skyrocketed. He’s tied with Tyler Chatwood for the most walks in the Majors this year (35) and has walked 4.61 batters per nine innings (4.4 percent more than last season). His strikeout percentage (20.7%) is also down from last year (22.4%). Interestingly enough, the Dodgers have the most walks in the Majors this year (226). Corey Seager leads the team with 36 walks. Yasiel “Patient” Puig and Chris Taylor both have 21 bases on balls.

Gio finally picked up his first win since April 27 in his last start against the Giants, allowing three runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and three walks in 6 1/3 innings. Overall, he is 3-1 with a 1.69 ERA in five career starts against the Dodgers in the regular season, three of those starts (2-1, 2.25 ERA) at Dodger Stadium.

Bryce Harper was back in the Nationals’ lineup on Sunday after serving a three-game suspension for charging the mound against the Giants’ Hunter Strickland (#TeamBryce). Harper wanted to complete the appeal process quickly in order to be able to play against the Dodgers this week, the team who eliminated the Nats from the playoffs last year.  Harper is hitting .328/.438/.655/1.093 with 15 home runs this season and is hitting .349 against left-handed pitching.

——

The Dodgers’ lineup looks, well, different. Enrique Hernandez starts at first base, batting fifth. The super utility player has never played first base in the majors. Franklin Gutierrez bats cleanup and starts in left field giving Cody Bellinger some rest.

Justin Turner begins a rehab assignment with Rancho Cucamonga tonight.

Joc Pederson is still not ready.

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler
Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the Co-Editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation and Dodger Blue 1958. She currently contributes to The Hardball Times. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.