Even the Los Angeles Dodgers Sponsor the Washington Nationals tonight at a game five with a Visit to the National League Championship Series.
As the groups have exchanged wins back and forth from the 18, this series has been quite aggressive. Though the Dodgers came as heavy favorites to this series, the Nationals have pushed them to the brink tonight in game .
Beginning for the Dodgers is Walker Buehler (14-4 3.26 ERA), also for the Nationals it is Stephen Strasburg (18-6 3.32 ERA). The game is put in seven runs. The Dodgers are -162 home favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 5:37 PM PST in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
The simple fact that this game is being started by Walker Buehler is shocking at a vacuum. The child has been quite good in his Major League career that is short, and hes some playoff experience. Buehler was great against the Nats in game just because them shut down, to the tune of just 1 hit in six shutout innings. But what makes visiting his name to the headline shocking for me, is that is Clayton Kershaw, and whos name is not on the invoice.
Kershaw has been this Dodgers staffs ace for over a decade. But after famously struggling his whole career the Dodgers have decided to slide back him a place in the rotation, moving up Buehler to the place. Dave Roberts has mentioned that Kershaw is going to be available to pitch out of their bullpen tonight if desired, but that sounds like it might be a last resort as clearly, the Dodgers have gotten their fill of Kershaw blowing them playoff games. We saw that in game two if he gave up runs and has been charged with the reduction, and I would be very surprised to see these call his title in the event the match is indeed online late.
The Washington Nationals needed a decision as Stephen Strasburg has been nothing less than remarkable from the 25, on who to begin conversing. Hes made two appearances already in this postseason, once coming from the bullpen to pitch three shutout innings in the wild card round against the Milwaukee Brewers, also once in a game two start he saw him glow as he threw six innings, allowed only one run on three hits and struck out ten.
What makes those two appearances eve more remarkable is that the two of those games were absolute must-win scenarios for the Nationals, and he still carried his team to wins both occasions. And that has become the situation for Strasburg his whole career as his lifetime playoff ERA is simply 0.64. You will need your head examined if you believe Strasburg is remotely intimidated about going on the street in a game. This man is prepared tonight with everything at stake.
Neither of those teams really expected to be in this situation. The Nationals began out the time 19-31, and it took a massive push to even find themselves. And once they did, nobody gave them much of a chance to knock off the Dodgers who had been looking poised to make their third consecutive trip.
And on the reverse side, I am pretty sure that LA never thought these Nats and their bullpen would find a way to hang about and make a run. And have the Nationals composed due to their bullpen? Well, it isnt just used by them. We have seen Stephen Strasburg Washington starters Max Scherzer, and Patrick Corbin all come out of their bullpen in the playoffs this year, and you may expect more of the exact same tonight in game five.
And while Corbin got roughed up in his one appearance in relief, so I would expect him to be available tonight if desired. If hes needed, at this point, I would be shocked to watch Scherzer come out in the match to confront a batter or 2. The Nationals have demonstrated they are open to a very unconventional usage of the pitching staff, and that ought to be on full display tonight in LA..
Who wins tonight in game five? I like the Nationals. I hate to bet against a house team in an elimination game, history tells it is not a great play. However, I think Stephen Strasburg will be tonight. And the Nationals have made it obvious that they are not planning on playing by the rules in this one. It would not shock me at all to find 120 pitches are thrown by this guy, and then turn things around to Mad Max or Corbin. Theyre ready to do anything is needed to win tonight, and I do not think LA will.
I think the Dodgers desire to win this match and have Kershaw prepared to begin game one of the NLCS. I really dont think they are going to play that Washington hasgot. Theyresupposed to acquire. Such as it does and after visiting the previous two World Series, this match does not matter to them.
It is going to be unconventional, but I believe Washington escapes LA with the win tonight if all the smoke clears. And when you look at the purchase cost, it is hard not to like financing Strasburg so that is exactly what I shall do. Give me that the Washington Nationals as underdogs within an upset for the ages tonight in game !