Preview: Rich Hill Has Opportunity To Extend Dodgers’ Winning Streak, Clinch Series Win Against Nationals
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Rich Hill takes the mound Saturday afternoon with multiple streaks involving four in play. He’s looking to snap a personal four-game skid, and help pitch the Los Angeles Dodgers to a fourth consecutive win.

While Hill has been saddled with four consecutive losses, he’s pitched well enough to have won three of the outings. One was against the Pittsburgh Pirates in which he threw nine no-hit innings but lost on Josh Harrison’s walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th.

Hill’s start against the Washington Nationals in his first this season. He faced them twice in the 2016 National League Division Series, going 0-1 and allowing a combined five runs in seven innings (6.43 ERA).

Providing length has been a bit of an issue for the veteran left-hander, as he’s managed to pitch six innings just twice in the past seven starts.

The Nationals counter with A.J. Cole, who is making his first start since Sept. 4. The young righty has twice pitched out of the bullpen within the past week, throwing a combined four innings.

His first relief appearance was two scoreless innings against the Philadelphia Phillies, but Cole allowed three runs on five hits, including a home run, to the Atlanta Braves a mere four days ago.

In six games as a starter, he’s 2-4 with a 4.01 ERA and 1.54 WHIP. Cole has surrendered five home runs, issued 20 walks and recorded 31 strikeouts in 33.2 innings pitched across the six outings.

Only Curtis Granderson (1-for-4 with a triple and RBI) and Chase Utley (0-for-2 with two strikeouts) have faced Cole in their respective careers. As Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated would be the case, Austin Barnes is receiving a start against a right-hander.

The Dodgers enter play with their magic number to clinch the NL West down to six. They also hold a six-game lead over the Nationals for best record in the league and home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs.

Dodgers lineup:

2B: Chase Utley
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Cody Bellinger
RF: Yasiel Puig
LF: Curtis Granderson
C: Austin Barnes
CF: Joc Pederson
P: Rich Hill

Nationals lineup:

SS: Trea Turner
LF: Howie Kendrick
2B: Daniel Murphy
1B: Ryan Zimmerman
3B: Anthony Rendon
RF: Jayson Werth
CF: Michael A. Taylor
C: Pedro Severino
P: A.J. Cole