Dodgers @ Phillies September 19, 2017: Darvish vs. Nola

(Via)

Tonight’s game between the Dodgers (96-54) and Phillies (59-91) is a meeting of two right-handed pitchers who have never faced the opposing team before. It’s also the most exciting pitching matchup of this four-game series. Will Yu Darvish (4.08 ERA, 4.02 FIP, 3.29 DRA) be able to build upon the success of his previous start? Will Aaron Nola (3.60 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 2.90 DRA) continue to impress? Let’s find out.

Dodgers
Phillies
4:05 PM PT
Philadelphia
CF
Taylor
2B
Hernández
SS
Seager
SS
Galvis
3B
Turner
CF
Herrera
1B
Bellinger
1B
Hoskins
RF
Granderson
RF
Williams
2B
Utley
LF
Altherr
C
Grandal 3B Crawford
LF
Ethier
C
Alfaro
P
Darvish (R)
P
Nola (R)

Darvish has had two excellent starts since joining the Dodgers: his first (against the Mets), and his most recent (against the Giants). In his other outings, he’s either struggled or been just okay. With only a few starts to go until the postseason, it would inspire some confidence to see him do well again, especially facing an offense as spotty as the Phillies’.

In a weak and tumultuous Phillies rotation, the 24-year-old Nola stands out as a bright spot. He strikes out around 26 percent of batters he faces, and has a walk rate of seven percent. He’s managed to do a good job suppressing home runs, as his HR/9 of 0.93 is tied for fourth-lowest among National League starters.

Interestingly, Nola’s most-used pitch is his curveball, and it’s a good one:

Nola has induced an 18.6 percent whiff rate with his curve this season. His secondary mix includes a four-seam fastball (which averages around 92 MPH and tops out around 96 MPH), a sinker, and a changeup.

After sitting last night, Corey Seager is, indeed, back in the lineup. Andre Ethier gets another start in left field, and Curtis Granderson is in right, giving Yasiel Puig the night off.

The Diamondbacks lost last night, so the Dodgers’ magic number is down to three. (Fun (???) note: the Padres have beaten the D’backs three times in the past two weeks, and the Dodgers have won four games, meaning the Padres have done nearly as much to reduce the Dodgers’ magic number as the Dodgers have.)

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Dustin made his first postseason roster predictions earlier today. Dave Roberts later confirmed that Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda are getting looks for the bullpen:

Maeda, however, is the probable starter for Thursday’s game.

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Update, 3:39 PM: Another weather delay. Fun!

About Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler
Sarah Wexler is a native Angeleno and longtime Dodger fan. She began blogging about baseball in 2012 on her Tumblr, New Grass On The Field, where she covered an array of topics but especially enjoyed exploring baseball history. She now writes for The Hardball Times, FanGraphs and Sporting News, and co-hosts a podcast, The Hardball Times Audio. She recently earned her master's degree in Sports Management from Cal State Long Beach. She graduated from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor's in History and a minor in American Studies. She's an avid Springsteen fan, which is a big boost to her baseball writer cred.