The Dodgers have set their pitching rotation for the upcoming road trip which begins the second half of their season. The Dodgers will start the second half with a six game road trip. The Boys in Blue will play a three game series in Washington, and then end the trip with a three game series in Toronto. The Dodgers beat the Nationals two out of three in a series at Dodger Stadium back in May. The Dodgers are coming into the post all-star break schedule as one of the hottest teams in Baseball, having won 17 of their last 22 games. The Dodgers are 47-47 and 2.5 games behind Arizona in second place in the NL West.
Don Mattingly has decided to shuffle his rotation so that Ricky Nolasco will start the Friday night game in Washington, and Clayton Kershaw is slated to start on Sunday. Zack Greinke will start on Saturday night, while Hyun-jin Ryu, and Capuano are held back to start the Toronto series.
Mattingly and the Dodgers felt they should give Kershaw and Hyun-jin Ryu some extra rest. Kershaw leads the majors in innings pitched, and the Dodgers feel that Ryu could benefit from extra rest since he is still adjusting to pitching over here in the majors for the first time. Plus Mattingly felt Nolasco would match up better considering his past success pitching in Washington. Here are the upcoming pitching match-ups for the Washington series below.
Ricky Nolasco-6-9 3.76 vs. Stephen Strasburg-5-7 2.99
Ricky Nolasco will match up against right hander Stephen Strasburg in game one on Friday night at 4:05 PM. Nolasco is 4-2 with a 2.32 ERA in seven career starts at Nationals Park versus Washington. Although, Washington did beat Nolasco on opening day when he was still a member of the Marlins. Strasburg has been having another solid season but had one of his worst starts last outing. In his latest start, he allowed seven runs in just two frames, which was his shortest outing of his career.
Zack Greinke-8-2 3.49 vs. Gio Gonzalez-7-3 3.03
Saturday night will see Zack Greinke counter left hander Gio Gonzalez. Another match-up will favor the Dodgers as Greinke has dominated the Nationals in past meetings. Greinke is 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA in three starts versus Washington. Greinke has allowed just four earned runs ever to the Nats, and whiffed 19 and walked just one National batter. Although Denard Span has hit Greinke to the tune of a .321 (9 for 28) batting average against. Greinke’s opponent, Gio Gonzalez is 7-3 and having a good year, but has faced the Dodgers once. He took a loss, allowing two runs on three hits, with five walks and seven whiffs.
Clayton Kershaw-8-6 1.98 vs. Jordan Zimmerman-12-4 2.58
The Sunday morning game will feature a marquee match-up, as Clayton Kershaw will battle Jordan Zimmerman. Kershaw is coming back from pitching a perfect inning in his third all-star game, but has a 4-2 record, and 3.27 ERA against the Nats. Kershaw has started just once at Nationals Park, which he lost. While Kershaw is having his usual Cy Young type season, (1.98 ERA, 139 whiffs, 0.908 WHIP) Zimmerman, the 27 year old lefty is having one of his finest seasons to date. He is 12-4 with a 2.58 ERA, and has whiffed 95 against only 18. His whip and walk rates are all at a career best for him. The Dodgers may be in trouble here, as Zimmerman is 2-0 against the Dodgers. However, Hanley Ramirez is 8 for 18 versus Zimmerman. Also I have no idea how or why, but Jerry’s brother Scott Hairston has 8 hits against Kershaw, and is hitting .400 (8 for 20) against the all-star lefty. Remember he is now a National as the Cubs just gave him to them for nothing.
Left handers, Hyun-jin Ryu, and Chris Capuano will start the Toronto series respectively. You can catch the Friday and Saturday night games on prime Ticket, and the Sunday morning game at 10:35 AM on KCAL 9. All three games of the Toronto series will be at 4:07 PM pacific time and televised on KCAL 9.
Lasorda’s Lair will return to our regularly scheduled game coverage beginning Friday night. We hope that you will embark on the last part of the journey of the 2013 Dodger season along with us, as we continue our documentation of the Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball seasons.