Dodgers Nationals Game Three Preview

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Jun 14, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias reacts against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 14, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias reacts against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Dodgers have a chance to sweep the first place Nationals.

Scott Kazmir wasn’t great last night and got hit hard, but he got through six innings and gave up two runs. I’ll take that any day, no matter how many close calls and absolute lasers he gave up. The offense was awful until the eighth, but they snapped out of it right on time with Yasmani Grandal‘s game winning homer. The Dodgers have won five straight and are now 40-33, so maybe the season isn’t over yet?

They have a chance to sweep the Nationals, which is something I really didn’t expect to type. Julio Urias gets the chance in yet another tough test for the 19-year-old. Three of his five starts have come against teams that would be in the postseason if the season ended today. The Nats, despite losing four straight, are still four games up in the NL East. Urias has struggled against the good teams, but all those starts also came on the road. He’s gotten the Rockies and Brewers at Dodger Stadium and has allowed eight hits and one run in nine innings while striking out 13 in those two starts. This was originally going to potentially be his final start before being slowed down to save his innings, but Dave Roberts said yesterday that Urias would get another start before being re-evaluated. I’d guess this is partly because of how good he’s looked, and partly because Mike Bolsinger has been awful and Frankie Montas aggravated his rib.

Joe Ross gets the start for Washington. Ross was drafted by the Padres and was traded to Washington last offseason in the Wil Myers deal. The brother of Padres’ starter Tyson Ross, Joe has been just as good as his brother. Ross is 6-4 and the Nationals are 9-4 when he starts, but Ross owns a 3.13 ERA/3.66 FIP in 77.2 innings, which is already a career high. He’s hit a wall of sorts, as he’s allowed at least three runs in his last three starts after doing so only twice in his first 10 outings.

This is pretty much the lineup I want to see 4-5 times a week. Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson and Trayce Thompson in the outfield, all the regulars in the infield. If/when the Dodgers sign the next big Cuban Yulieski Gourriel, he’ll probably take some infield reps. Not accounting for trades and signings, this should be the lineup (even with a healthy Andre Ethier).

Next: Dodgers Acquire Chris Taylor

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PST and will be shown on ESPN without blackouts. It will also be shown on SNLA, and Vin Scully returns to the booth after missing yesterday’s game with an illness.

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