Giants / Dodgers give possible rotational postseason preview
As the Giants come into town for their most important series, the Dodgers will be throwing at them what should be the exact same three pitchers that the Nationals will see when the NLDS series opens.
Even the order might be the same as Kershaw / Hill / Maeda are scheduled to pitch the three-game series with the Giants.
Is that trio any better than the past two postseason trio?
2014 saw the Dodgers use Kershaw / Greinke / Ryu and lose in four games to the Cardinals.
2015 saw the Dodgers use Kershaw / Greinke / Brett Anderson and lose in five games to the Mets.
Clayton is Clayton, he should enter the postseason at full strength, and Clayton at full strength is the best pitcher in baseball. He’ll be matched up against Max Scherzer, and Max is pretty damn good himself. Game one could be decided by the bullpens if Kershaw/Scherzer cancel each other out.
Rich Hill is not Zack Greinke, but in a short game series he might be able to put up a reasonable facsimile of our 2014/2015 postseason Greinke. I’ve often been told that soft pitchers have a tougher time in the postseason. I don’t know if that is true or not, but I do know the Nationals haven’t seen Rich Hill since 2012 and can’t imagine anyone is on the team that has had many if any at-bats against him. Advantage should be Rich Hill, but that is assuming that two weeks from now that Rich Hill will even be healthy enough to pitch in the postseason. Rich Hill has made one postseason start, and that was back in 2007 when he was with the Cubs. That did not go well but we all know the 2007 version of Rich Hill is not the 2016 version. If Rich Hill is healthy enough to pitch, I think the LAD front office should get some major accolades for landing Rich Hill without giving up any of Julio Urias / Jose De Leon or even Alvarez / Buehler / Stewart. I honestly don’t think someone like Chris Sales or Chris Archer would give the Dodgers anymore of a chance than this version of Rich Hill.
I don’t think Kenta Maeda brings anything more than Ryu did in 2014, but he probably brings a lot more than Brett Anderson did in 2015. Maeda is one of the few pitchers who is actually better on the road than at home, but not a significant difference. Maybe Maeda pitches game two instead of game three so that they break up the two lefties.
Anyway, as you watch the Giant series, just remember these are the three guns that Dodgers will be using against the Nationals. The Dodgers have not used the fourth starter in either of the last two NLDS and I don’t expect them to do so this year.