- The Washington Times - Friday, September 15, 2017

In what could be a potential National League Championship Series preview, the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers will meet this weekend for a three-game series.

The Nationals are five games behind the Dodgers for first place in the NL — a remarkable fact considering Los Angeles was 50 games over .500 on Aug. 16. The series begins Friday and includes a showdown on “Sunday Night Baseball” on ESPN. 

But the Dodgers went on a disastrous losing streak over the last three weeks weeks, dropping 15 of 16 games during that time.

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For the time being, Los Angeles appears to have pitched its way out of it. The Dodgers have won their last two games behind strong performances from Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish, who had both been out of the lineup because of injuries.

Player to watch: Victor Robles

Since being called up to the major leagues, Robles is hitting .333 in five games and 10 plate appearances. It’s an incredibly small sample size, but he’s shown flashes of his potential, including recording his first career triple on Thursday. Because of Brian Goodwin’s injury, Robles might have a chance to make the Nationals’ postseason roster. But he’ll have to make a case and the Dodgers will be a good litmus test for his performance against elite quality teams. 

Pitching matchups

Friday: Washington’s Edwin Jackson vs. Los Angeles‘ Alex Wood.

Saturday: Washington’s A.J. Cole vs. Los Angeles‘ Rich Hill.

Sunday: Washington’s Stephen Strasburg vs. Los Angeles‘ Hyun-Jin Ryu.

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