Lineup: Crawford LF
The Dodgers have won both their first two games out of the All-Star break. They sit only 1/2 game back of Arizona in the division, and they are looking to sweep the Washington Nationals before heading to Canada. Hanley Ramirez has dazzled, and he is one of the hottest hitters in baseball right now. Hanley drove in the tie-breaking run in the top of the ninth inning. The Dodgers would go on to score another run on a RBI sacrifice from Ethier. The Nationals have been reeling, and without a healthy Bryce Harper their lineup is falling flat. Harper injured himself on the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium earlier this season. Paco Rodriguez has been able to tame the feisty youngster by striking him out twice in as many games.
The Dodgers are trying to make a run for the tops of the division, and they have been surging. With a little help from their foes
up north, the Dodger have been able to gain two games on the Diamondbacks so far during this leg of their east coast road trip. The Dodgers would love to take over first place behind their ace Clayton Kershaw with a sweep of D.C. on Sunday. I’m sure our forefathers would be proud.
Clayton Kershaw is almost invincible. The southpaw is first in the MLB in ERA (1.98), fifth in strikeouts (139), and first in WHIP (0.91). Yet the ace does falter once in awhile. Last time out against Colorado, Kersh allowed an uncharacteristic 3 runs on 6 hits over 7 innings and took the loss. He did strike out 10 Rockies and only walk 1. Kershaw has been plagued with low run support again this season. The 25-year old has never pitched at Nationals Park, and he will have to contend with the extremely hot weather. Kersh is 4-2 with a 3.27 ERA against the Nationals in his career.
The ace vs. ace battle will have Jordan Zimmermann countering Kersh in the finale game of the series. Zimmermann will go for a league-leading 13 wins. Right now he’s tied with Adam Wanwright with 12 wins each. Zimmermann is sixth in ERA (2.58), and fourth in the league in WHIP (0.97). Last time out Zimmermann lost to Philadelphia after allowing 2 runs on 8 hits over 6 1/3 innings pitched. He struck out 6 while walking none. The Dodgers last saw Zimmermann back on May 13th at Dodger Stadium where he won. He allowed 2 runs on 9 hits in 7 2/3 innings pitched against the Dodgers. Zimmermann hasn’t lost at home since May 17, 2012. That’s 22 starts. Can the Dodgers snap his streak on Sunday morning? Zimmermann has been battling a stiff neck.
Tune into KCAL at 10:35 a.m. for game three. After the conclusion of this series, the Dodgers will head up to Toronto, Canada for a three-game series against the Blue Jays. The Dodgers hope to take first place in another country, because TRUE BLUE knows no boundaries or borders!