Clayton Kershaw Faces Jered Weaver In Freeway Series Finale

The Dodgers try to avoid yet another sweep at the hands of the Angels, but to do so they have to beat Jered Weaver. Luckily, the Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw on the hill, as today promises to be one of the best pitching matchups of the season in MLB. Let's look at Kershaw vs. Weaver:

Weaver Kershaw
28 Age 23
6'7" Height 6'3"
215 Weight 217
Domestic Reach as far as Africa
9-4 Record 7-3
2.01 (t-2nd in MLB) ERA (34th in MLB) 3.01
183 (2nd) ERA+ (25th) 119
2.48 (3rd) FIP (4th) 2.51
3.41 (t-30th) xFIP (4th) 2.83
3.7 (2nd) WAR (t-7th) 3.1
102 (10th) Strikeouts (t-4th) 117
2 (t-3rd) Shutouts (t-3rd) 2
One No-Hit L
Zero

Don Mattingly said of his starting pitcher today, "Kershaw's last game, that's an art form."

No DL For Thames

Marcus Thames is running "okay," per Mattingly, though his left calf is feeling better. Thames is available to pinch hit, and the availability of the DH for six games this upcoming week (in Minnesota and Anaheim) saved him from going on the disabled list, for now. Thames can't play the field, but he will likely DH a few games this week. Mattingly also said he would like to have Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp DH for one game each as well, to buy them a day off without taking a day off.

The Beard Is Back

Casey Blake's neck is feeling better, and after meeting with the trainers the decision was made to simply play him and see what happens, "sink or swim" as Mattingly put it. Blake had started just two of the last 13 games with a pinched nerve in his neck, returns to the starting lineup today. During that span, Blake actually missed only two games, as he appeared in nine games as a pinch hitter, going 1-for-8 with a three-run double and a walk.

"He could definitely irritate [his neck], but the thing that makes me comfortable, and makes Casey more comfortable, is the fact that no one feels like he's going to do any kind of damage that would push him into some kind of surgery," Mattingly said.

Gordon Could Be Dropped In Lineup

Dee Gordon, currently in a 1-for-23 slump and hitting .231/.254/.277 on the season, gets today off. Mattingly said he is considering batting Gordon eighth or ninth in the lineup, perhaps as soon as this week. With the DH this week, Gordon could bat ninth, a position he might also bat in National League games when Chad Billingsley or Clayton Kershaw are pitching.

Broxton Suffers Setback

Jonathan Broxton felt stiffness in his right elbow playing catch on flat ground, and his scheduled rehab games with Class A Rancho Cucamonga today and tomorrow have been scrapped. A decision will be made on Monday as to the next step in Broxton's rehab plan, but Mattingly said the former closer will likely not be ready for next weekend's Anaheim series, which was previously targeted for Broxton's return.

Lineups

Angels Dodgers
2B Izturis
LF Gwynn
SS Aybar 3B Blake
LF Kendrick RF Ethier
RF Wells CF Kemp
1B Trumbo 1B Loney
3B Callaspo 2B Uribe
CF Bourjos C Navarro
C Mathis
SS Carroll
P Weaver P Kershaw

Game Time: 1:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket, KCOP

MLB Gameday

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