Three game set with Nationals not really a preview of NLCS
While the Dodgers have been throwing two of the pitchers expected to start in the postseason, Alex Wood and Rich Hill, the Nationals were not so accommodating throwing Edwin Jackson and Alex Cole, neither of whom will be pitching in the National rotation come October.
The Nationals are also missing possibly the best player in the NL in Bryce Harper. Still, it is always good to win two games on the road against the team trying to catch you for the best record in baseball. With those two victories against the Nationals, the Dodgers have put some extra length between them and the Nationals making it virtually impossible to blow the best record in the NL with so few games remaining.
Tonight the Dodgers get to see the hottest pitcher in baseball in Steven Strasburg. Strasburg came off the DL on August 19th and gave up two runs in six innings. Both those runs came in his first inning of work, and those were the last runs he has given up in his last 34 innings.
Facing him will be Hyun-Jin Ryu who can’t compete with Strasburg on stuff but given that this is a Sunday Night matchup can match him on domination. Ryu has pitched twice on Sunday Night TV and both times was excellent. He has yet to give up a run on Sunday Night TV and his two best games scores of the year were by far on Sunday Night.
Ryu will try to make his case to be the fourth starter in the October rotation, and you can’t ask for a better audition than against the team you might be facing in October. Whatever happens tonight Ryu has come a long way from the pitcher that no one was counting on April 1st, 2017. Among a season of surprises, his production has to rank at least 3rd behind Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor.