Dodgers Tab Kershaw To Balance The Seesaw

Win.  Loss.  Win.  Loss.  Win.  Loss.  Win.  Loss.  Those are the results, in order, of the Dodgers' last eight games.  Tonight, the Dodgers hand the ball to Clayton Kershaw in hopes that patten will continue, if only for tonight against the Braves.

Kershaw is coming off a start in which he issued a career-high six walks in four innings in a loss to the Brewers at home on Monday.  He was only able to go four innings, though he did limit the damage to three runs allowed, in a game the Dodgers almost won with a furious ninth inning rally.  Kershaw only allowed four hits in his four innings Monday, and has allowed more hits than innings pitched in only four of 22 starts this season.

Kenshin Kawakami gets the start for Atlanta.  Over his last five starts, he is only 1-3 despite a 4.13 ERA, but he has only struck out 14 batters in his last 28.1 innings, while walking 12.

For all the buzzards surrounding Jonathan Broxton, here are some facts:

  • News of Broxton's toe injury came out the day after allowing two runs in a game in Milwaukee, five days after his implosion in San Diego.
  • After the Milwaukee game on July 10, Broxton didn't pitch for eight days, extending his all-star break into more than a week of rest.
  • After that July 10 game in Milwaukee, Broxton has pitched in nine games.  He has allowed a run in two of those games.
  • In those nine games, Broxton has walked five and struck out ten batters.  His ERA is 2.00, and his Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) is 2.56.
  • Opposing batters since that Milwaukee game are hitting .161/.278/.161 against the Dodger closer.

Chipper Jones may miss the final two games of the series, per Mark Bowman of MLB.com.

Rafael Furcal has reached base in 18 straight games, the third-longest streak by a Dodger this season, and is hitting .329/.356/.471 with 15 runs scored in those 18 games.  The longest streak belongs to Orlando Hudson, who reached base in 27 straight games in April and May.

Hudson currently has a seven-game hitting streak, and is hitting .375/.444/.458 during that span.

With scheduled Sunday starter Scott Elbert pitching last night, he will likely be scratched tomorrow.  Who knows who will pitch Sunday's game?  There will be plenty of time to worry about that tomorrow.  Tonight, we have our 21-year old stud on the mound in Kershaw.  Just sit back and enjoy.

Get your guesses in for "Just A Bit Outside" here.

Game Time:  7:10pm

TV:  Prime Ticket

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