The Dodgers look to win their second straight game as they open a three-game series in New York against the Mets, and they send Clayton Kershaw to the mound looking to to avoid something he has never done before. Kershaw has lost his last two starts, and has never lost three consecutive starts in his career.
The Dodgers have lost three straight Kershaw starts before (four times, amazingly including a seven-start stretch in 2009), and Kershaw has lost three straight decisions before (three times, the last coming Aug. 22 to Sep. 7, 2010), but never has Kershaw tasted defeat three consecutive times to the mound.
Then again, Kershaw never allowed three home runs in a game outside of Coors Field until his last start, when the Padres took him deep three times at Dodger Stadium.
Five seasons ago, a 20-year-old Kershaw allowed four runs and couldn't get out of the fourth inning against the Mets at Shea Stadium in what was just his second career start. Since then, Kershaw has been absolutely lights out against New York, with five starts, five wins, and four runs allowed, including just two earned, with 36 strikeouts and 10 unintentional walks in 35⅔ innings.
David Wright is 2-for-14 (.143) with a double and three walks against Kershaw, John Buck is 1-for-8 (.125) with two walks and a hit by pitch, and Justin Turner is 1-for-10. Marlon Byrd (6-for-9, .667) and Ruben Tejada (3-for-5, .600) have tasted some success against Kershaw.
In two starts at Citi Field (in 2009 and 2011), Kershaw is 2-0 and has given up one run, with 15 strikeouts and five walks in 12⅔ innings.
Starting for the Mets on Tuesday is Jon Niese, who is 1-0 with a 4.12 ERA in three career starts against the Dodgers. Both Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are 4-for-9 against Niese, but all their hits have been singles. Juan Uribe is 0-for-11 against Niese, and Jerry Hairston is 1-for-10 with a walk.
Time: 4:10 p.m.