Nationals @ Dodgers June 6, 2017: McCarthy vs. Scherzer

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers aim to tie the series against the Nationals on Tuesday night in the continuation of their rematch of last season’s NLDS. The Nats defeated the Dodgers 4-2 in the series opener despite a promising seven-inning performance by Hyun-Jin Ryu. They have lost four of their last six games.

Nationals
Dodgers
7:10 PM
Los Angeles
SS
Turner
2B 
Utley
LF
Goodwin
SS
Seager
RF
Harper
C
Grandal
1B
Zimmerman
1B
Gonzalez
2B
Murphy
 LF
Bellinger
3B
Rendon
CF
Taylor
C
Wieters 3B  Forsythe
CF
Taylor
RF
Puig
P
 Scherzer (R)
P
 McCarthy (R)

Brandon McCarthy (5-2, 3.38 ERA, 3.05 FIP) only lasted four innings in his last start against the Cardinals due to a blister on his right index finger, an issue he has apparently been dealing with the entire season. He also has knee tendinitis and missed time after dislocating his non-throwing shoulder in the weight room earlier this season. BMac reportedly felt good in a bullpen session on Sunday and is ready for his start in the second game of three against Washington Tuesday evening.

McCarthy has only pitched twice against Washington in his career, allowing three runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts and two walks in 15 innings. His start tonight against the Nats will be the litmus test for the Dodgers and their plan going forward when it comes to the starting rotation. Should McCarthy’s blister affect his outing again, the Dodgers could potentially bring back Julio Urias, who was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City last month.

Max Scherzer (6-3, 2.56 ERA, 3.00) isn’t a left-hander, but he is Max Scherzer. Scherzer leads the NL in a multitude of pitching categories. He’s tops in the NL with 100 strikeouts, his 0.89 WHIP barely edges out Clayton Kershaw (0.90), he has held opposing batters to a .186 average and his 11.64 K/9 is second-best in the league behind Jacob deGrom (12.18 K/9). He’s good.

Overall against the Dodgers, Scherzer is 2-4 with a 3.29 ERA in 10 career games. At Dodger Stadium, he is 1-2 with a 3.98 ERA in five starts.

——

Adrian Gonzalez, Cody Bellinger and Yasmani Grandal are all back in the lineup. Franklin Gutierrez, who went hitless in the series opener, is hitting .400 with two doubles and a home run in 10 at-bats against Sherzer but is not in the starting lineup.

——

In injury news, Alex Wood will return this weekend.

And something I Don’t Wanna Know

The Dodgers somehow bested Scherzer twice in NLDS Games 1 and 5 last year, but the 2017 Dodgers offense needs to step up in order to overtake him this time around.

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, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. 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.