Gas Lamps and Curveballs: Clayton Kershaw and Dodgers in San Diego


After going four and three on their homestand, the Dodgers picked up some momentum coming into San Diego by sweeping the D-backs with some walk-off magic. The Cardinals series is behind them (but not forgotten), and the Dodgers are ready to take on the Padres before heading to the Lone Star State. They will have their perpetual M.V.P. Clayton Kershaw on the mound for the series opener on Friday night in Diego as the Dodgers go for their fourth win in a row.

Clayton Kershaw (5-3, 3.36) vs. Odrismer Despaigne (3-4, 4.72)

The Dodgers are a little banged up, but they remain 1 1/2 games in first place in the N.L. West and ahead of the San Diego Padres by 5 games. The Padres are at an even .500 on the season after struggling the past few weeks. Former Dodger Matt Kemp hasn’t shown his Beastmode side quite yet for the Padres, and the outfielder is hitting .249/.283/.346 with 2 homeruns and 32 RBI in 60 games for San Diego. Kemp is 2-for-3 with a double and 3 RBI  against Kershaw so far.

Pederson CF
Puig RF
Gonzalez 1B
Kendrick 2B
Turner 3B
Ethier LF
Rollins SS
Ellis C
Kershaw P

Clayton Kershaw was in vintage form his last time out against St. Louis. He pitched a one-hit gem against his postseason tormentors, and the lefty struck out 11 Red Birds with 2 walks on 106 pitches. Kersh will be vying for his fourth win in a row to go along with a fourth consecutive team win for the Dodgers. The last time Kershaw saw the Padres was back on Opening Day, but he wasn’t involved in the decision after pitching 6 innings and allowing 3 runs on 6 hits in the Dodger win.

Kersh has always pitched well against the Friars. He is 12-6 with a 2.33 ERA in 25 career starts against SD. He is 4-2 at Petco Park with a 2.22 ERA in 9 starts. Justin Upton is hitting only .098 against the left-hander with just 4 hits in 41 at bats against Kershaw.

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Did I mention that Clayton Kershaw is hitting .172 on the season with 5 hits including 2 doubles in 32 plate appearances?

Odrisamer Despaigne has a titled cap in his photo, and Despaigne definitely has his own style on the mound with a good curveball to go with it. Last time out the Cuban right-hander was pegged with a loss against Cincinnati after pitching 6 innings and allowing 4 runs on 9 hits with 3 strikeouts and no walks. He faced the Dodgers in relief back on April 25th in San Diego when he pitched a scoreless frame.

"Hello SD!"

Despaigne has yet to reach one full year in the majors after debuting last June. He is 0-2 with a 5.84 ERA against the Dodgers in 3 games (2 starts). Yasiel Puig has 2 hits including a double in 5 at bats against him.

Yasiel Puig has been on fire since returning from the disabled list, and it is so great to have him back in the Dodger lineup. The Wild Horse went 4-for-4 in Wednesday’s walk-off win against the D-backs.

The Dodgers are 6-3 against the Padres so far this season.

Go Blue!