WASHINGTON, D.C.: Washington went 87 games into the 2017 campaign before they were shut out for the first time. Dusty Baker’s Nationals have been shut out six time since, including the 7-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers last night. LA left-hander Alex Wood shut the Nationals out over six innings and handed it over the pen for the combined shutout in the series opener in the nation’s capital.
“[Wood] had a real good changeup and he was throwing it in fastball counts, throwing it 3-2,” Baker said, “... and it’s good that we get to see these guys because we haven’t seen them in such a long, long time.”
Before the first of three with the Dodgers in D.C., the Nats’ skipper said he was looking forward to facing the NL West champs, a potential postseason opponent they hadn’t seen since June.
“I think this is great that we’re playing them this late, even if they learn something on us, we learn a whole bunch about them,” Baker said.
He was asked after the loss to the Dodgers, if he could just brush it off as one of those nights, or if there was something he would like to see his team improve upon in today’s matchup.
“We had a couple opportunities with men in scoring position, that’s one thing I wish we would have done better,” he said, “because nobody likes to get shut out, and we’ve been shut out twice this week in a short period of time, so we just have to address it and just increase concentration and aggressiveness.”
A.J. Cole starts for the Nationals this afternoon against LA lefty Rich Hill in the second game of three in the nation’s capital.
Cole is making his first start since September 4th, having come out of the bullpen in each of his two previous appearances.