Dodgers Nationals Game Two Preview

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Jul 15, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Bud Norris (28) pitches during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 15, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Bud Norris (28) pitches during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Dodgers look to take the series against Washington with a win in game two.

More pregame bad news, as Alex Wood‘s recovery has also been halted. Wood was already on the 60-day DL, but news came in today that he would undergo elbow surgery (not Tommy John) and be sidelined eight more weeks, which puts a possible return in September. Obviously, not great news considering Clayton Kershaw‘s return is unknown, but the timing is best-case as there is still time for them to make a move before the trade deadline. Whether they should give up a haul or not is a different question, but the Dodgers don’t have a lot of leverage in any trade negotiation right now, so who knows what the next two weeks will bring.

More importantly, the Dodgers have a game today. Hyun-jin Ryu was supposed to make the start, but he was placed on the DL with elbow pain yesterday. Bud Norris, who was supposed to start tomorrow, will start today on normal rest (off day Monday), and Julio Urias will get the start tomorrow instead.

Norris has gone exactly five innings in each of his last two starts after tossing six shutout in his Dodger debut. He’s allowed three and four earned runs in his last two outings, but has done a good job not walking batters (only three walks in three starts as a Dodger) and keeping the ball in the park (one homer allowed as a Dodger). It’s not exciting, but Norris will probably continue to keep the Dodgers in ballgames and get through five innings, which is pretty much what they need with all their other pitchers hurt.

Gio Gonzalez gets the ball for the Nationals. Gonzalez had a fantastic start to the season with a 1.86 ERA through his first eight starts. However, since then, Gonzalez has allowed at least three runs in all but one start. He’s allowed 44 earned runs in his last 10 starts (55 innings) and only pitched past the sixth once in those 10 starts.

If you told me we would see a Chris Taylor/Charlie Culberson double play combo in July, I would have thought this team would have like 13 wins this season. Yet, here we are. Gonzalez throws with his left hand, so it’s a good time to get Chase Utley a day off. Corey Seager is still dealing with a stomach bug (damn you home run derby), so Culberson was called up from OKC.

Next: A Look at the Seager Brothers

In news that will surely disappoint the masses, Chris Hatcher was reportedly placed on the DL to make room for Culberson. It hasn’t been confirmed by the club, but beat writers tweeted that he wasn’t listed on the lineup sheet. Having a short bullpen with Norris and Urias scheduled to start a night/afternoon game is not a great plan, but the bullpen should be well-rested after an off day Monday and seven strong from Kazmir yesterday.

First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.

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