The old saying in baseball is that momentum is simply today's starting pitcher. As the Dodgers limp into Milwaukee after three painful losses in Atlanta, the good news is that Clayton Kershaw starts the series opener against the Brewers on Monday night at Miller Park.
But will Kershaw have to pitch nine innings on Monday to get a win?
- Kenley Jansen threw 35 pitches over the last two days in two outings, allowing four runs in the process.
- Brandon League threw 19 pitches on Sunday. That was his only outing of the last four days but League has been terrible this season and has allowed runs in seven of his last nine outings.
- Ronald Belisario threw 21 pitches Friday, allowing two runs, and 15 pitches Sunday, so he would probably be good to go on Monday
- Paco Rodriguez threw 21 pitches Friday, allowing a grand slam to Justin Upton, and two pitches Sunday, so he would probably be good to go Monday.
- J.P. Howell threw 19 pitches Sunday and has pitched on back-to-back days only once this season.
The Dodgers might have arms reasonably fresh enough to use if needed, but one wouldn't blame Mattingly for being a little gun shy about making a call to the bullpen after his relief staff coughed up leads in all three games over the weekend.
Kershaw struck out a season-high 12 in eight scoreless innings against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium on Apr. 28. Four of Kershaw's nine starts have been scoreless outings this season. He has pitched seven innings or longer in seven of his nine starts this season.
- Kershaw is coming off the higest pitch count of his career, a 132-pitch effort on Tuesday, but he also got an extra day of rest prior to this Monday outing.
- Kershaw has allowed one earned run or less in 11 of his last 14 starts, allowing a total of 13 earned runs during that span for a 1.18 ERA.
- It's worth noting this again. Kershaw in his last 57 starts, dating back to July 7, 2011, has a 1.99 ERA.
- The Brewers are struggling even more than the Dodgers. Milwaukee has lost 14 of its last 17 games, while the Dodgers are 4-12 in their last 16 contests.
- Yovani Gallardo, one of just three pitchers with 200 strikeouts in each of the last four seasons, has just 36 strikeouts in 52 innings this season.
- The Dodgers home runs in May, in reverse chronological order: Scott Van Slyke, Van Slyke, Van Slyke, Dee Gordon, Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Punto, Carl Crawford, A.J. Ellis, Gonzalez. The Dodgers are dead last in MLB with nine May home runs.
Time: 5:10 p.m.