Let's get to getting. We'll start looking at Kershaw who the Nats will see at least once, maybe twice.
Clayton Kershaw has a reputation for not being great in the playoffs. This is in part because of the man you saw last night. When someone who you are supposed to be as good as (or better than) comes up special you are supposed to come up special as well. Kershaw has not been doing that. His playoff ERA is a poor 4.59 and his playoff record is 2-6. His WHIP good (1.160) but when you've been at a 0.908 for the last 6 seasons even that's a bit of a downer. Can Nats fans expect a terrible performance?
Probably not. First off these numbers includes playoff appearances before Kershaw was KERSHAW. In 2008 and 2009 he pitched a few times with mixed results. Secondly, his stats since then are dominated by two extremely bad performances back to back against STL. He lost an NLCS game in 2013 giving up 7 runs in 4 innings and an NLDS game in 2014 giving up 8 runs in 6 and two-thirds.
If instead of looking at overall stats, you look at the starts themselves you'd see a different picture. The eight starts would likely be called : great, very good, very good, OMG TERRIBLE, OMG TERRIBLE, good, good, very good/great. So 6 out of 8 times he's thrown up at least good games, half the time very good or better. Why is his record so poor then? Well he's lost games 1-0, 3-2, and 3-1, and got a no-decision. The Dodgers haven't scored for him.
Also if we look at the games in more detail - that first "OMG TERRIBLE" game was a bad one through and through. The second one had him going 6IP, 2ER, 2H (solo homers), 0BB, 8K before blowing up in the 7th. The first "good" game 6IP, 0ER, 1H, 2BB, 9K before losing it in the 7th. The second one 6IP, 1ER, 4H, 1BB, 11K before walking a bunch in the 7th who'd score when the pen failed. Combined those three and prior to the 7th inning that's 18IP, 3ER, 7H, 3BB, and 28K. That's an incredible line 1.50 ERA, 0.555 WHIP, 1.5 BB/9, 14 K/9. Yikes.
What we've seen - seven of eight starts, is a Kershaw that has been dominant over the first 6 innings of a game. That's what Nats fans should expect. A struggle to score a run or two for the first 2/3rds of the game. Once we get into the later innings, when Kershaw tires a little, the Nats will have a chance, but any failings before that will be the Nats lucking into that one out of eight outing where he just doesn't have it.
How do the Nats do against Kershaw? Here you go. (Thanks Baseball Reference! Subscribe! I do.)
Werth had faced him by far the most (39 PA) and done well (.286 / .359 / .457). Zimm is next at 24 and has done ok (.318 / .333 / .364). Murphy (19 - .316 / .316 / .632) is another one with a strong showing. Though all three combined in regular season games in the past 2 years are only 2-19. So take the historical success very lightly. Other than that Michael Taylor is the only one you can say hits him well but in only 9 PA. Rendon had been usable. Heisey maybe so. The others - Bryce, Danny, Drew, Lobaton - no good.
And Kershaw in Nats Park? We'll go with career : 6 G, 5GS, 32IP, 2.51 ERA 7BB, 44K, 4HR. Last two years - 2 starts, 15IP, 0.00ERA., 25 Ks though they did get 9 hits off him in 2014 at home (and yes somehow didn't score. Here's the game if you are interested)
How do the Dodgers do against Scherzer? Here you go again.
As he's been an AL guy for a while there are fewer guys with double digits at bats against him. Ethier has hit him excellently, Kendrick very good, Reddick good, and Utley passably. Adrian Gonzalez has seen him the most and has been terrible (28 - .192/ .250/ .481). He did not face the Dodgers this year so there are no good recent stats but I'll say that the trends generally hold to what's been said. There isn't a drop recently like for the Nats batters against Kershaw. As much as a game or two can actually tell you (which is next to nothing - but next to nothing better than nothing!)
And Max at home this year? 15 G, 2.56 ERA, 0.931 WHIP, 11.8 K/9. For the most part Max at home is the same as Max on the road with one big difference. He gives up far fewer HRs at home. 10 at home to 21 (in 126 IP) on the road.
Who's hot for the Nats regulars in the last week ?
Trea continues to burn up. Rendon is hot, too and likely Ramos platooner Severino is hitting well. Sean Kelley, Rep, Belisle, Melancon havg all pitched well recently, but not really any starter.
Werth is ice cold, Zimm continues to struggle, Drew, Bryce and Danny are all struggling to get hits.
Burnett is iffy, but really no reliever you expect to see in the DS is pitching poorly. Max and Gio have had some blah starts.
Who's hot for the Dodgers?
A Gonz has been hitting well and Utley has a double and 2 homers in the past week.
I don't know the pen as well but Baez, and Howell seem to be ones most likely to be used that are looking good. Kershaw of course.
Seager did not look great down the stretch and Kendrick hasn't gotten a hit in the last 6 games.
Blanton, Chavez, and Libertore were all key pieces and not doing so hot right now. Maeda is also looking shaky.
Overall feeling right now today :
I'm curious to see how Turner fares against Kershaw. I know it's silly but given how hot he's been I'll look at that first at bat and if Kershaw dominates Turner I'd be tempted to turn it off until the 6th. How the Dodgers will do against Max is a mystery to me. I mean, they won't beat him up, but will he match Clayton or not? I think it'll be close. I'd kind of expect to be down say... 2-1 going into the 7th. After that? Nats should have the edge bullpen wise but that's only 3 innings.
Otherwise I like everything about how the Dodgers are lining up for Gio other than how Gio is bad Gio sometimes, but we'll take that as it comes because if Gio is G3 and Puig and Kendrick have a couple good games I won't feel the same way.