The Nationals now look to get greedy after knotting the best-of-five National League Division Series at one game apiece with a thrilling 4-2 win over the Dodgers on Friday night in Los Angeles. Now they enjoy home field advantage with the next two games at Nationals Park.
The Nats have decided on Aníbal Sánchez as their Game 3 starter. Max Scherzer, who was scheduled to start today, threw 14 pitches in a shutout eighth inning in Game 2. Sanchez has not pitched since Sept. 25 and has allowed five earned runs in his last 12 innings over two starts. But he also has won three starts in a row.
Sánchez has postseason experience, going 2-5 with a 3.12 ERA in eight games (seven starts). He started NLDS Game 2 last season for the Braves against the Dodgers and lost 3-0 to Clayton Kershaw. Sánchez gave up home runs to Manny Machado and Yasmani Grandal, pitching 4 2/3 innings with five hits, just three runs allowed, one walk and three strikeouts.
Sánchez went 4-2 with a 3.45 ERA and an impressive 0.97 WHIP in his last seven regular season starts.
An interesting question: If Sánchez can go at least six innings, would Scherzer be available in a close game? If Sánchez can pitch well and the Nats can somehow generate a comfortable lead and win, one scenario would have Nationals manager Davey Martinez hold Scherzer out of the game completely and have him available for Game 4 or 5.
Shortstop Trea Turner has hit safely in his last 15 games, including all three postseason games. Turner is hitting .343 (23-for-67) with eight doubles, six homers, 11 RBIs, two walks, three stolen bases and 15 runs scored during the current streak.
Left-hander Hyun Jin-Ryu gets the start for the Dodgers. Ryu dominated the Nats back on May 12, pitching eight shutout innings, allowing only a late Gerardo Parra double, with one walk and nine strikeouts in a 6-0 win. He did struggle between Aug. 17 and Sept. 4, posting a 9.95 ERA, but then returned to form in his final three starts of the regular season, going 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA.
NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES - GAME 3
LOS ANGELES DODGERS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nats Park
Gametime: 7:45 p.m. EDT
TV: TBS, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, MLB.com
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 72 degrees, five percent chance of rain, win in from left field at 7 mph
SS Trea Turner
RF Adam Eaton
3B Anthony Rendon
LF Juan Soto
1B Howie Kendrick
C Kurt Suzuki
2B Brian Dozier
CF Michael A. Taylor
RHP Aníbal Sanchez
RF Joc Pederson
1B Max Muncy
3B Justin Turner
CF Cody Bellinger
SS Corey Seager
LF A.J. Pollock
2B Gavin Lux
C Russell Martin
LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu