Dodgers v. Nationals 5/5/2014 Lineup and Preview
The Nationals are looking to once again jump ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East division with a win against the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight. With two straight losses to the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday and Sunday looming over the heads the Nationals still remain 0.5 games behind the Braves in the division even though they have lost 6 games in a row.
The Nationals will have a tough challenge with the cross country Dodgers coming into town with Zach Grienke slated for today start and Clayton Kershaw expected to make his return from the disable list tomorrow and make his second start of the year.
Zach Grienke is off to one of his best starts as a big league pitcher as he is currently 5-0 with an ERA of 2.04 and also has a special connection to the Nationals franchise as he made his first big league start against the then Montreal Expos in 2004. With only one Nationals hitter having more than ten at bats, Denard Span 9-31, against Grienke his stuff will be relatively new to very depleted Nationals line up with Ryan Zimmerman, Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos still on the DL and Adam LaRoche playing on a lingering right quad injury as well as Jose Lobaton missing the game after a day to day injury he received Saturday.
They will try to attack the veteran Grienke will this lineup:
The Dodger also come to town with some injury concerns after Yasiel Puig crashed into the wall in Miami in yesterday’s lost to the Marlins and will at least miss tonight’s game. But the 18-14 Dodgers are being led by talented first baseman Adrian Gonzalez who is leading the team with 9 home runs and 25 RBI. After getting swept at home last year by the Dodgers, the Nationals will look to get some pay back against the Dodgers and it starts against former CY Young winner Zach Grienke and his hot start.
The Nationals will counter Zach Grienke with their own veteran right handed pitcher in Jordan Zimmermann. Zimmermann is coming off of his best start of the year against the Houston Astros in which he went into the seventh inning and allowed zero runs. Zimmermann comes into this start with a 2-1 record with a 3.27 ERA showing the model of consistency that is Jordan Zimmermann but he will face a test today in the powerful Dodgers offense who in 80 at bats are batting .363 against Zimmermann.
This game may just come down to what it has come down to the whole year for the Nationals, the first inning. If the Nationals can escape that first inning tonight give them a great chance to beat the Dodgers but if they can’t don’t expect this depleted offense to rally a comeback like they have all year.