Dusty Baker was happy to get out of San Diego and head to Los Angeles. The four-game set in Petco Park started with back-to-back wins, but it went all pear-shaped in the eighth inning of Saturday night's loss and the Nationals ended up dropping the series finale on Sunday as well, settling for a split of their series with the (29-42) Padres.
"They outplayed us," Baker told reporters after yesterday's 6-3 loss.
"They outplayed us the last two days and I'm not real happy about it. We've just got to play better in LA because we were playing great when we got here, went backwards a couple days and so we've got to get back together."
After dropping two straight to the Padres, the Nationals take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-game set that starts with the marquee matchup of the series:
Stephen Strasburg (10-0, 2.90 ERA) vs Clayton Kershaw (10-1, 1.58 ERA)
As the Nationals' Game Notes mention, according to STATS, LLC, the Strasburg vs Kershaw matchup is the first in over 100 years that has featured two starters with double-digit wins this early in a season, with the previous matchup a June 22, 1962 meeting between Dodgers' lefty Sandy Koufax (10-2) and Cincinnati Reds' righty Bob Purkey (12-1).
Strasburg, 27, brings his 13-game winning streak to LA's Dodger Stadium, where he's made just one career start, holding Los Angeles to one run on five hits in seven innings of work in which he struck out nine back in 2012.
On the road this season, the Nationals' '09 No. 1 overall pick is (5-0) with 2.11 ERA and a .227/.278/.312 line against in 38 ⅓ innings pitched.
Kershaw, 28, is unbeaten in his last nine starts (8-0), with a 1.14 ERA and a .154/.171/.229 line against in 71 innings pitched over that stretch. He's (6-1) in seven starts in Los Angeles this season, with a 1.31 ERA and a .144/.167/.193 line against in the Dodgers' home park.
Who's going to miss this matchup? And no offense to F.P. and Bob, but who's not going to listen to Vin Scully call this one?
Here's the lineup that Baker is sending out against the Dodgers' ace:
#Nats vs #Dodgers (Kershaw) 1 of 3: Taylor CF, Werth LF, Harper RF, Murphy 2B, Zimmerman 1B, Ramos C, Rendon 3B, Espinosa SS, Strasburg P— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) June 20, 2016