Dodgers: The Clash of the National League’s Titans

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Oct 13, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) comes out of the bullpen during the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals during game five of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball game at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 13, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) comes out of the bullpen during the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals during game five of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball game at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dodgers
May 25, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu (99) in the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

Game One – Monday 7:10 PM (Hyun-Jin Ryu vs. Gio Gonzalez)

Pitching Matchup:  For the Dodgers, Hyun-Jin Ryu is coming off his best start of the season that saw him go six innings against the Cardinals, allowing only one run. Ryu was able to get his fastball up to 92 mph which is an improvement, and between this start and his relief appearance before his last start, he has put together two solid outings in a row.

For the Nationals, they’ll send out their lone left-handed starter Gio Gonzalez.  In April Gonzalez was one of the best starters in the game posting an ERA under two, but in May he regressed to a 4.37 ERA, so he will try to turn things around against the Dodgers.  In his last start, Gonzalez gave up three runs in six-plus innings to the Giants.

Dodger hitter to watch: Logan Forsythe has four hits in six at-bats against Gio Gonzalez so hopefully this matchup could get Forsythe’s bat going.

National hitter to watch: Daniel Murphy has three hits against Ryu in nine at-bats.  Not many National players have hit against Ryu before, including Bryce Harper.

Key to the Game:  Gio Gonzalez is a lot like Rich Hill in that he can be very erratic as evidenced by his 4.6 walks per nine innings. The Dodgers will need to be patient, and they could find themselves given a good amount of base runners by Gonzalez. If they could cash in with RISP, then Monday will be the most winnable game of the series.

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