The last time Vin Scully threw out a ceremonial first pitch, the Dodgers had someone (Orlando Hudson) hit for the cycle. Los Angeles looks for more Scully magic on his bobblehead night as they open a four-game weekend series against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium.
Perhaps that magic can be created by Clayton Kershaw, who starts the opener in search of his 13th win of the season. In four of his six career starts at home against Arizona Kershaw has allowed zero runs, including each of the last three. Kershaw has a personal 19-inning scoreless streak at Dodger Stadium against the Diamondbacks, dating back to last season, with five walks and 22 strikeouts during that span.
He has also pitched eight innings in each of his last three starts. The last Dodger to pitch four straight games of eight innings or more was a decade ago, when Odalis Perez threw five straight games from Apr. 15 to May 8, 2002.
Kershaw struck out six in seven scoreless innings in a win over the Diamondbacks at home on May 14. He beat Ian Kennedy, who starts for the Diamondbacks on Thursday.
Kennedy is 11-11 with a 4.44 ERA on the season, but in eight starts against National League West foes this year is 5-2 with a 3.25 ERA and 54 strikeouts against just 13 walks in 52 2/3 innings, with six quality starts.
It should be an interesting weekend, on several fronts, and not just for Think Cure weekend on Sunday and Monday:
- Who will the Dodgers add by Friday at 9 p.m., the deadline to acquire players eligible for the postseason?
- When will Coors Field wall victim Matt Kemp return to the starting lineup?
- Will the second MRI on Chad Billingsley's right elbow confirm everyone's worst fears?
- Is Kenley Jansen's season over, or will his latest bout with an irregular heartbeat be like spring training when he only missed a few days?
- Will Tony Gwynn Jr. and/or Bobby Abreu, both currently in Triple A Albuquerque, be added back onto the 40-man roster? If so, what will the corresponding roster move(s) be, as the 40-man roster is full.
- Can the Dodgers snap their six-game losing streak to the Diamondbacks?
This weekend will be full of answers to these questions, but will they be the right answers for the Dodgers?
Game Time: 7:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket