What to Watch for: 7.21.13
Los Angeles Dodgers (49-47) vs. Washington Nationals (48-49)
LHP Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 1.98) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (12-4, 2.58)
Washington and Los Angeles meet for the final time this season, with respective aces Clayton Kershaw and Jordan Zimmermann facing off. Kershaw owns the league’s lowest ERA, which he will put on the line this afternoon against the Nationals. Zimmermann already beat the Dodgers once this year in L.A. on May 13, allowing two runs over 7.2 innings of work.
1. Harper LF
2. Rendon 2B
3. Zimmerman 3B
4. Werth RF
5. LaRoche 1B
6. Desmond SS
7. Hairston LF
8. Suzuki C
9. Zimmermann RHP
Gio Gonzalez matched his career high with 11 strikeouts over 6.0 scoreless frames in a no decision Saturday night. Gonzalez also fanned 11 in his last previous no decision, a 6-2, 11-inning Nationals victory on June 19 at Philadelphia. Since May 12, the lefty has the second best ERA in the National League (third in MLB) at 1.97 (19 ER/86.2 IP) over which he has struck out 84 batters.
ZIMMERMANN’S HOME IS HIS CASTLE
Jordan Zimmermann enters today’s series finale riding a 14-game home winning streak, spanning 22 D.C. starts back to May 17 of last season. Nine of his league-leading 12 wins have come at home this year, where he is 9-0 with a 1.75 ERA (15 ER/77.1 IP) in 11 outings.
THREE IS THE MAGIC NUMBER
When scoring three or more times this year, the Nationals are 43-11 (.796), and when scoring five or more they are 37-2 (.949). However, when plating two or fewer runs, Washington is just 5-38 (.116). Only Miami (49 times) has scored less than three runs more often.