Dusty Baker told reporters on Thursday that it would be Pedro Severino behind the plate for Game 1 of the NLDS with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but that was the only information Washington’s skipper was willing to offer when it came to the Nationals’ lineup for the series opener.
“[Severino is] pretty good against left-handed pitchers,” Baker explained, so he was getting the start against Clayton Kershaw in the series opener.
“I don't think he's seen one quite like this in Kershaw before,” Baker acknowledged, ‘[but] he's worked with our guys and [Jose] Lobaton is a little bit injured and that's one reason why he's not catching tomorrow.”
There was good news on Daniel Murphy as well, as the second baseman, who’d been dealing with a left buttock strain, came through his final pre-NLDS workout in good shape and ready to go in the first game of the best-of-five series.
“I feel confident right now,” Murphy told reporters, as quoted by the Washington Post’s Jorge Castillo:
“I’m going to try everything I can to be in there tomorrow. These guys, my teammates, have really grinded and it’s been fun to watch while I’m out. I want to be in there and be in the fire with them.”
“He looked pretty good,” Baker said after watching Murphy’s workout.
“And you know, he says he's ready and so, therefore, you know, we think he's ready. He did about everything that you could do simulating the game. Everything but slide. But yeah, he looked pretty good.”
When the lineup for this afternoon’s game was released, Murphy’s name was indeed penciled in at second base, batting third...
Here’s the Nationals’ lineup for Game 1 of the NLDS: