Kershaw Goes For Number 20

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The Dodgers showed a lot of heart and determination during their 8-4 come from behind win on Thursday night against the Cubs. I’m not joking with you. They really did. The Dodgers actually came from behind late in a game. Hands to god, I wouldn’t have believed it had I not seen it through my own two eyes. They actually scored seven runs from the seventh inning on. The comeback was fueled by their five run seventh inning rally that won the game for the boys in blue.

Dodgers Lineup @ Chicago

Gordon 2B

Puig CF

Gonzalez 1B

Kemp RF

Hanley SS

Crawford LF

Uribe 3B

Ellis C

Kershaw P

Clayton Kershaw-19-3 vs. Edwin Jackson-6-14

In that impressive rally, the Dodgers had three singles, two doubles, a walk, a fielding error, and a sacrifice fly. That’s basically like the buffet of a scoring rally.

It was a win the Dodgers sorely needed. Instead of being 1.5 games ahead, the Dodgers are a more comfortable 2.5 games ahead of the Giants coming into the second game of their Chicago series. The Dodgers are just trying to run out the clock at this point. They do have some things they need to improve upon though. The non Kershaw pitching has been slightly lackluster lately. The Dodgers keep falling behind in the first or second innings of games, and they have to stop doing this. Even Zack Greinke gave up two runs to the Cubs in the first inning on Thursday night.

No more falling behind early in games. Thankfully we shouldn’t have to worry about that today, as Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for the Dodgers looking for his 20th win.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

I know in this day and age most people think pitcher’s wins are meaningless. And they are for the most part. We know by now that a pitcher’s win-loss record normally doesn’t always reflect a pitcher’s true abilities. But recording 20 wins is still an incredible accomplishment. Especially in the modern era of pitch counts, and specialized bullpens. It’s hard to win 20 games nowadays, so we should not take anything away from Kershaw.

If Kershaw beats the Cubs today, he would become just the eighth Dodger pitcher in history to have two or more 20-win seasons as a Dodger. He would be joining Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Don Newcombe, Jeff Pfeffer, Burleigh Grimes, Dazzy Vance, and Claude Osteen. That’s quite some company there.

Kershaw is 19-3 with an MLB leading 1.70 ERA. He has not faced the Cubs this year, but Kershaw has pitched very well against them during his stellar career. Kershaw is 3-2 with a 1.60 ERA in five starts with 26 whiffs and seven walks in 33 innings pitched. Kershaw has only made one career start at Wrigley Field though. He lost that start, but allowed just one unearned run on four hits over six innings. He was probably victimized by crappy offense again.

What do the current Cubs hit against Kershaw? Just a paltry .135 (5 for 37) average against with no home runs, and a .315 OPS against. Nothing short of domination.

NamePAABH2B3BHRRBIBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSSHSFIBBHBPGDP
Starlin Castro17172000105.118.118.118.23500000
Chris Coghlan771000005.143.143.143.28600000
Welington Castillo331000000.333.333.333.66700000
Junior Lake330000002.000.000.000.00000000
Anthony Rizzo330000001.000.000.000.00000000
Luis Valbuena310000021.000.667.000.66700000
Travis Wood331000001.333.333.333.66700000
Total393750001215.135.179.135.31500000

The Cubs will counter with former Dodger right hander Edwin Jackson. The Dodgers faced Jackson back on August 3. And he beat the Dodgers. The guy has an ERA over six, and he pitched seven innings of two-run ball with six whiffs and no walks against the Dodgers. More proof of the Dodger’s inconsistent offense this season.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Jackson is 4-2 with a 3.40 ERA in seven career starts against the Dodgers. Although he is 9-17 with a 5.69 career ERA at Wrigley Field. Overall Jackson is 6-14 with a 6.09 ERA in 26 starts. He has 123 whiffs and 61 walks, and he has a career 4.61 ERA. The numbers don’t look good for the Dodgers here. The club is batting .216 (27 for 125), although with seven home runs versus Jackson. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier have hit him the best over the years. Kemp is batting .294 (5 for 17) with a home run. Ethier is also batting .294 (5 for 17) with two home runs. The Dodgers have also gotten two homers from  Hanley, and one from Gonzalez, and Uribe.

NamePAABH2B3BHRRBIBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSSHSFIBBHBPGDP
Matt Kemp19175001227.294.368.471.83900001
Hanley Ramirez19173102320.176.263.588.85100002
Andre Ethier18175002316.294.333.647.98000100
Darwin Barney15143100101.214.214.286.50010000
Juan Uribe15143001112.214.267.429.69500001
Adrian Gonzalez13123001414.250.308.500.80800000
Carl Crawford880000001.000.000.000.00000002
Roger Bernadina650000012.000.167.000.16700000
Drew Butera551100001.200.200.400.60000000
Yasiel Puig541000012.250.400.250.65000000
A.J. Ellis330000001.000.000.000.00000000
Tim Federowicz331000001.333.333.333.66700000
Justin Turner332100000.667.6671.0001.66700000
Kevin Correia220000002.000.000.000.00000000
Scott Van Slyke110000001.000.000.000.00000000
Total1351252740714931.216.269.416.68510106

We still don’t know who is pitching on Monday, and or Sunday. Hyun-jin Ryu is set to join the club today. The Dodgers should make a determination on his availability once he throws a bullpen session and is checked out by the medical staff.

The Giants are opening their weekend set in San Diego. Tim Hudson will counter Odrisamer Despaigne at 7:10 PM. The Dodgers have a 2.5 game lead with nine left to play, and the magic number is down to 8. However the Dodger’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot is down to two. I believe if the Brewers lose and the Dodgers win, then the boys in blue will clinch a playoff spot. But we won’t celebrate until we win the NL West. That’s the real prize. Hold the bubbly until we can raise the division flag. It’s coming guys.

Game Time- 11:20 AM

Go Blue!

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