On Friday, reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw gets the ball for the Dodgers, opposed by fellow southpaw Ross Detwiler, who's off to a hot start at 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA.Kershaw has posted some pretty solid numbers, too. He's 1-0 with a 1.61 ERA. For opposing hitters, perhaps the scariest part of those numbers is the way manager Don Mattingly reacted to being asked whether Kershaw has reached his peak. "I don't think Kersh is where he wants to be yet," Mattingly said. "He's been pretty good, but he hasn't quite been what you would consider midseason form. ... We're not sitting here complaining, but I don't think he's been quite right yet and where he wants to be." Mattingly has been getting the majority of his offensive production from two hitters -- Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, who are 1-2 in baseball in RBIs. But Mattingly has stressed the importance of production coming from elsewhere. "For me, it's having that big two -- two guys in the order that you can build around," Mattingly said. "Then you've got to get guys to get on base for them. We've got to be able to generate. We've got two pretty good players. You can build around them." In the series opener, the Dodgers will face Detwiler, who has gone 16 innings in his three starts this year and has allowed just one run. The 26-year-old hasn't thrown more than 81 pitches in a game this season. On Friday against the Marlins, the left-hander got his second win of the season, tossing six innings and giving up only three hits. He also struck out seven and walked only one.
Nationals: Zimmerman to see specialist
Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman attempted to take some swings on Thursday but felt the same pain in his right shoulder that has kept him out of the lineup since Saturday. And with the team headed to Los Angeles for a weekend series with the Dodgers, Zimmerman will visit a physician at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic and likely receive another cortisone shot in the affected area.
Johnson said the team would prefer to wait to see how a second treatment works before putting Zimmerman on the disabled list.
"I think our doctors feel like [the DL is] probably the best course to ensure that he recovers," Johnson said. "But, we're in the season. If he's going to be better, two days after the treatment or something. We'll just have to wait and see after tomorrow."
Dodgers: Rivera improving
Left fielder Juan Rivera showed improvement Wednesday from a strained left hamstring he suffered running out an infield single on Tuesday.
The Nationals have only taken a season series against the Dodgers one time -- in 2005, their first season in Washington. In total, the Dodgers own a 24-17 edge over the Nationals since the move to the capital. The Dodgers have won four of six series this season, but all four series wins have come against teams that finished below .500 in 2011. Against Milwaukee and Atlanta, two clubs that won 96 and 89 games, respectively, the Dodgers are 2-4.