Nationals @ Dodgers June 7, 2017: Strasburg vs. Kershaw, for real this time

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The first two games of this series have been just what you’d expect from the National League’s two best teams: Low-scoring, well-played and playoff-like. Today will be more of the same.

Nationals
Dodgers
12:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
SS
Turner
CF
Taylor
LF
Raburn
SS
Seager
RF
Harper
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Zimmerman
C
Grandal
2B
Murphy
 LF
Bellinger
3B
Rendon
3B
Forsythe
CF
Taylor 2B  Utley
C
Lobaton
RF
Puig
P
 Strasburg (R)
P
 Kershaw (L)

Stephen Strasburg and Clayton Kershaw are set to duel under the sun this afternoon. Normally, this would be a feature game on one of the big networks, but it’s 12:10 p.m. start, so that isn’t happening. But this game is, unlike last year. The two pitchers were set to face off in 2016 before Strasburg was scratched on the day with upper-back strain. So, the first matchup of these two aces has waited until today.

Strasburg is having another fantastic season. He owns a 2.91 ERA, 2.64 FIP, a 27.1 K% and just a .206 batting average against. He’s also allowing the lowest percentage of line drives (19.2) since his 2013 campaign (17.5). The 1-2 punch of him and Max Scherzer is something to behold.

The Dodgers counter with Kershaw, who is coming off one of his best starts of the season last time out in Milwaukee (7 IP, 1 R, 14 K). He got 21 whiffs in his 103 pitches. It broke down as such:

  • Fastball: 4
  • Slider: 9
  • Curveball: 8

He’s getting in a groove and could be ready to go on one of those Cy Young-clinching runs he’s famous for. He’s still getting bitten by the home run ball (15.7 HR/FB%, 1.19 HR/9), so that’s something to monitor. This is sure to be a fantastic pitchers’ duel on a Wednesday afternoon.

Adrian Gonzalez is back in the No. 3 spot. One thing’s for certain: The Dodgers have missed Justin Turner in that slot since he went down with the hamstring injury. Chris Taylor leads off with Chase Utley getting moved down to the No. 7 spot. Looks about as good as it can look right now.

——

This makes sense. Kenta Maeda and his fastball-slider-cutter trio could play well out of the bullpen. For the love of God, though, please stop throwing the curveball.

Please, please, please be OK, JT.

Oof, that doesn’t sound good for Joc.

This is just odd. There’s no history between Yasiel Puig and the Nats — and especially Koda Glover. So, what was Glover so mad about?

Oh, right. He was staring at you. The all-fucking-mighty Koda Glover. Looks like we’ve got another Madison Bumgarner on our hands.

Slow your roll, Billy.

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.