NLDS Game 5 – Dodgers (91-71, 2-2) vs. Nationals (95-67, 2-2)
- Game Time – 7:00pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: FS 1 – Radio: ESPN, XM Radio Channels 80 (National), 89, 869 (Nationals), 183, 853 (Dodgers)
- Location – Nationals Park, Washington DC
Rich Hill, LHP (12-5, 2.12/0.99/2.39) vs. Max Scherzer, RHP (20-7, 2.96/0.96/3.24)
National League Division Series Game 5
Best-of-Five NLDS Tied at Two (2-2)
The Dodgers and Nationals square off tonight in a win-or-go-home Game 5 of the National League Division Series.
There are two rather big Cubs connections to this game.
Rich Hill spent the first part of the last decade as the top pitching prospect in the Cubs organization. The Cubs selected Hill in the fourth round of the 2002 draft. Hill made his big league debut for Dusty Baker’s Cubs on June 15, 2005. And Hill was the starting pitcher in the Michael Barrett-A.J. Pierzynski Game.
The last time Rich Hill started an elimination game in the postseason was the 2007 NLDS at Wrigley Field. Hill took the ball for Lou Piniella in Game 3 against the Diamondbacks with the Cubs down 0-2 in the best-of-five series. Chris Young led off the game by taking Hill deep and a couple of hours later the Cubs season was officially over. Jon Paul Morosi pointed out Cliff Floyd and Mark DeRosa played for the Cubs and Eric Byrnes was with the Diamondbacks at the time. Current Cubs’ catcher Miguel Montero started that game and caught Livan Hernandez, who is throwing out the first pitch today at Nationals Park.
Jacque Jones also played on the 2007 Cubs and he’s the Nationals assistant hitting coach under Dusty Baker.
Dusty Baker’s connections to the Cubs are well-documented. The former Cubs’ skipper wants a shot at the Cubs and an opportunity to knock them out of the postseason.
Baker’s teams have lost eight straight games in which they had a chance to win a postseason round. The Nationals led the best-of-five series 2-1 and lost Game 4 on an eighth inning single by Chase Utley.
Davey Lopes and Chris Speier are coaches on Baker’s staff with their own ties to the Cubs as players and coaches.
Game 5 of the NLDS all starts with Rich Hill for the Dodgers and Max Scherzer for the Nationals …
Rich Hill had a rough start in Game 2 and lasted only 4 1/3 innings. Jose Lobaton took him deep for a three-run homer and the Dodgers lost 5-2. Hill was charged with four runs on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
Hill pitched in six games after the trade with the A’s that sent him from Oakland to Los Angeles, along with Josh Reddick, before the non-waiver trade deadline. Hill was 3-2 with a 1.83 ERA and 0.79 WHIP. In 34 1/3 innings with the Dodgers, Hill allowed seven runs on 22 hits with five walks and 39 strikeouts.
Max Scherzer is one of the true Aces in the game and many consider him the favorite to win the NL Cy Young Award this season. Scherzer had somewhat of a rough outing in Game 1 of the NLDS. Scherzer lasted only six innings and gave up four runs on five hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Corey Seager and Justin Turner took him deep.
Scherzer was 8-3 in 15 starts at Nationals Park this season with a 2.56 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. Scherzer has struggled against the Dodgers throughout his career and is just 2-4 in 10 games, eight starts, with a 3.29 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.
The Cubs will be watching tonight’s game and will soon find out their opponent for the NLCS.
Let’s talk postseason baseball …