The Los Angeles Dodgers will try to regain the lead when their National League Division Series shifts to Washington Sunday tied at one game apiece.
Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu is set to start for the Dodgers. When asked Friday night who would be his team’s starting pitcher Sunday, Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez responded, “We’ll see.”
Martinez said before Friday’s game right-hander Max Scherzer would start Sunday. However, Scherzer pitched one inning of relief, throwing 14 pitches, in Friday night’s 4-2 victory over the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Game 2 of the best-of-five series.
“I’m going to see how he feels tomorrow,” Martinez said Friday.
If Scherzer does not start for Washington, right-hander Anibal Sanchez probably will, Martinez said.
Ryu was 1-0 with 0.61 ERA in two starts against the Nationals during the regular season. He pitched eight shutout innings in a 6-0 victory May 12 at Dodger Stadium, allowing only Gerardo Parra’s ground-rule double with one out in the eighth inning.
Ryu had a no-decision in a 4-2 victory July 26 in Washington, allowing one run and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Ryu was 14-5 with a major-league-best 2.32 ERA in the regular season. He was second in the National League with a 6.79 strikeout-to-walk ratio and fewest home runs allowed per nine innings, 0.84, third in walks plus hits per inning, 1.01, opponents’ on-base percentage, .263, and base runners allowed per nine innings, 9.26.
Ryu was 1-3 with a 7.48 ERA in four starts in August, but allowed three earned runs in 21 innings in his final three starts, limiting opponents to a .176 batting average.
The Dodgers were held to five hits and struck out 17 times in Game 2, including 10 in six innings by Washington starter Stephen Strasburg.
“Strasburg was very good,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I think he used his curve ball half the time. He was getting ahead all night and putting us away with that. We just really couldn’t put anything together against him.”
Strasburg retired the first 14 Dodger batters before Will Smith singled with two outs in the fifth.
The Nationals scored once in the first and twice in the second off Clayton Kershaw.
Justin Turner drove in Matt Beaty with a sixth-inning sacrifice fly for the Dodgers first run. Beaty, pinch-hitting for Kershaw, singled with one out and moved to third on Joc Pederson’s double.
The Dodgers cut the deficit to 3-2 on Max Muncy’s solo homer with one out in the seventh. Washington added an insurance run in the eighth when Asdrubal Cabrera’s one-out single drove in Ryan Zimmerman, who led off the inning with a double and moved to third on Victor Robles’ sacrifice.
National reliever Daniel Hudson entered the game in the ninth, allowing a double to Justin Turner, the first batter he faced. He retired the next two batters, then intentionally walked Muncy to bring Smith to the plate, representing the tying run.
Smith walked on four pitches to load the bases. Corey Seager swung and missed on a 2-2 slider to end the game.
Seager has one hit in eight at-bats in the division series, while Dodger MVP candidate Cody Bellinger is hitless in six at-bats.
“I think he’s in a really good place, the way his body’s moving,” Roberts said of Bellinger. “I think that right now for Cody, I think he’s seeing the baseball well. For me, it’s too small of a sample.”