The National League Division Series against he Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers is a just a day away. Game 1 of the series begins at Nationals Park with a game start at 5:38 p.m. EST on Friday. The pitchers that will start on the mound will be Clayton Kershaw (12-4, 1.69 ERA) for the Dodgers and Max Scherzer (20-7, 2.96 ERA) for the Nationals.
The time has come for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw to change people’s perspective about their postseason appearances for the past four seasons.
During the regular season, how did both Kershaw and Max Scherzer stack up and how are they different in the postseason?
Kershaw, 28, started off the first two months of the season on a solid note, nut this was before his injuries caught up with him. He won his only start against the Nationals on June 20, allowing six hits in seven innings and struck out eight batters. On June 27, Kershaw was put on the 60-day disabled list with a herniated disc in his lower back.
The Dodgers had lost their ace.
His first start back on Sept. 9, Kershaw lost to the Miami Marlins allowing five hits and pitching three innings. In the month of September, the Dodgers No. 1 starter had a 1-1 record and pitched two no-decisions with a 0.86 ERA.
Kershaw led the National League with three shutouts in the regular season, however; his postseason record is quite disappointing.
During the postseason, Kershaw is 2-6 with a 4.59 ERA and pitching 64.2 innings, so is there a chance that he can improve his record?
Will 2016 finally be his season to prevail and contribute to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ success in the postseason?
The Los Angeles Dodgers first-year manager Dave Roberts will enter his first postseason as a coach and expectations for his club has reached the highest-level possible.
On the other hand, Scherzer is the only pitcher in the Washington Nationals organization that has been the most consistent. Throughout the season, the Nationals has had multiple pitchers on the disabled list and that has probably cost them an 100-win season.
Scherzer led the National League in the following categories:
-Walks plus hits per inning (0.97)
-Strikeouts per walk (5.07)
-Innings pitched (228.1)
Scherzer, also known as Mad Max, has a record of 4-3 and a 3.73 ERA when the Nationals make the postseason, in addition to being a great pitcher in the regular season.
This is the first time this season that Scherzer will be pitching against the Dodgers in 2016, therefore it can work in favor for the Nationals or Dodgers.
Nationals’ manager, Dusty Baker, has to make many difficult decisions in the next couple of days. This will be Baker’s eight postseason appearance with his fourth club.
Baker’s experience is at an expert level compared to Roberts, so either manager has to exceed expectations from the front office.
Which pitching rotation can produce more wins to reach the National League Championship Series? Comment below.