The Nationals have found a way to make up for their lack of depth against a favored and more talented Dodgers, using their star power and creativity to push the National League Division Series back to Los Angeles for a decisive Game 5.
The pitching matchup features a pair of starters who both dominated in their outings earlier this series. Walker Buehler was excellent to pitch the Dodgers to a win in Game 1, while Stephen Strasburg carried the Nationals to victory in Game 2.
When is the game and how can I watch it?
Game 5 will be Tonight at 8:30 ET on TBS.
All games telecast on TBS, FOX and FS1 will be available to MLB.TV subscribers who are authenticated subscribers to the applicable network through a participating pay TV provider.
What are the starting lineups?
Nationals: Michael A. Taylor got the Game 5 start in center field, as Victor Robles was not yet ready to return to the lineup after injuring his right hamstring in Game 2.
Dodgers: Matt Beaty, Gavin Lux and Will Smith did not fare well against Max Scherzer in Game 4, but Smith and Beaty had two of the Dodgers’ three hits off Strasburg in Game 2, earning them spots in the lineup tonight:
Who are the starting pitchers?
Nationals: Strasburg (18-6, 3.32 ERA) is the last pitcher the Dodgers want to see after he dominated them in Game 2, carrying a perfect game into the fifth inning and ultimately limiting Los Angeles to one run on three hits in six innings. This will be his first start in a winner-take-all game.
Dodgers: Buehler (14-4, 3.26 ERA) allowed the Nationals one hit over six scoreless innings in a Game 1 win and pitched out of a jam when he loaded the bases with walks. He won Game 163 last season and started NL Championship Series Game 7 against Milwaukee last year, so he knows winner-take-all situations.
How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Nationals: Strasburg will carry the Nationals for as long as he can go, with Sean Doolittle and Daniel Hudson as the only two relievers they are likely to trust to put into the game. Expect the Nats to treat this game with the same urgency they have shown all series, which could make starters such as Patrick Corbin or Aníbal Sánchez available to pitch in relief.
Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Dodgers: Probably Urías.
Any injuries of note?
Nationals: Robles took a full batting practice before Game 4 and said he was feeling much better. He has lobbied to play on back-to-back days, but the Nats wanted to remain cautious. He was not in the starting lineup for Game 5
Who is hot and who is not?
Nationals: Trea Turner ended the season on a 12-game hitting streak and has remained hot in the postseason. He went 3-for-5 in Game 4 and has now hit safely in 16 of his last 17 games. Anthony Rendon has also heated up lately, batting .333 (4-for-12) in this series with four RBIs.
Dodgers: It’s October, so you know Justin Turner is hot. It’s October, so you know David Freese is hitting. And Muncy squares just about every pitch he swings at. In the bullpen, Maeda has become the go-to guy in a multitude of relief situations.