Dodgers / Marlins Game Preview: Kershaw versus victim

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Clayton Kershaw brings his one of a kind skills to Marlins park where once again he will twirl a gem, leaving fans searching for superlatives to describe his performance.

Clayton Kershaw finishes up the four game series for the Dodgers against Henderson Alvarez, as the Dodgers try to win another series on the road. Alvarez was part of the booty from the Blue Jays in the Jose Reyes / Josh Johnson / Mark Buehrle deal. Originally penciled into the opening season rotation, Alvarez has made only nine starts after suffering shoulder problems near the end of spring training. His shoulder issues healed with out surgery,  and the twenty three year old has done a decent job compiling fifty eight inning in his nine starts. His last six starts have seen him go at least six innings.

2011 Cy Young award winner and future 2013 Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw just keeps rolling along. I don't have time this morning to lay out all the superlatives of Mr. Kershaw, so we will simply say, he's the best of the best. Clayton has made only one start at Marlins park and is undefeated.

The Dodgers have won two of the three contests so far, so at worst they will split the series.  Even with that humongous two game losing streak earlier this week a victory today will give them another road trip win at 4 - 2. At worse they will go 3 - 3.

If we dig a little deeper the Dodgers are 27 - 5 since the All-Star game, 17 - 3 in August, and of course 44 - 10 since June 22nd when they were 9.5 games back of the Diamondbacks.  The Diamondbacks also play in the morning so by the time Dodger fans leave the office today, they could be 9.5 games up on the Diamondbacks. An astonishing 19 game swing in 55 games.

Of course they need to win for any of that to happen, and as great as Kershaw has been,  the Dodgers are only 15 - 11 in his 26 starts this year.

Notes

The Dodgers are 4-2 against Miami this season as they try to win the back three of the four game series

Baseball Reference has Kershaw ERA+ at 198. Would love to see that hit 200. Only 14 pitchers since 1958 have had an ERA+ > 200 who have pitched at least 200 IP. One is Kershaw's teammate Zack Grienke.  There are nine unique pitchers on that list. Surprisingly only one HOF (Bob Gibson). though Greg Maddux and Pedro should be shortly.

                                                                     
Player           ERA+    IP Year Age GS CG SHO  W  L BB  SO  ERA OPS+
Pedro Martinez    291 217.0 2000  28 29  7   4 18  6 32 284 1.74   18
Greg Maddux       271 202.0 1994  28 25 10   3 16  6 31 156 1.56   34
Greg Maddux       260 209.2 1995  29 28 10   3 19  2 23 181 1.63   29
Bob Gibson        258 304.2 1968  32 34 28  13 22  9 62 268 1.12   47
Pedro Martinez    243 213.1 1999  27 29  5   1 23  4 37 313 2.07   35
Dwight Gooden     229 276.2 1985  20 35 16   8 24  4 69 268 1.53   52
Roger Clemens     226 211.1 2005  42 32  1   0 13  8 62 185 1.87   46
Roger Clemens     222 264.0 1997  34 34  9   3 21  7 68 292 2.05   48
Pedro Martinez    219 241.1 1997  25 31 13   4 17  8 67 305 1.90   42
Kevin Brown       215 233.0 1996  31 32  5   3 17 11 33 159 1.89   52
Roger Clemens     211 228.1 1990  27 31  7   4 21  6 54 209 1.93   61
Ron Guidry        208 273.2 1978  27 35 16   9 25  3 72 248 1.74   50
Zack Greinke      205 229.1 2009  25 33  6   3 16  8 51 242 2.16   62
Dean Chance       200 278.1 1964  23 35 15  11 20  9 86 207 1.65   53

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/21/2013.

Starting Lineups

Dodgers Marlins
LF Crawford (L) LF Yelich (L)
SS Punto (S)
2B Solano
1B Gonzalez (L) RF Stanton
RF Puig 1B Morrison (L)
CF Ethier (L) 3B Lucas
C Ellis CF Ruggiano
2B Schumaker (L)
SS Hechavarria
3B Uribe C Mathis
P Kershaw (L)
P Alvarez

Game info

Time: 9:40 a.m.

TV: KCAL

MLB Gameday

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