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Showdown At Dodger Stadium

The Dodgers-Marlins series at Dodger Stadium starts with a wonderful pitching duel.  Clayton Kershaw, with his excellent fastball and curveball, takes on Josh Johnson in the opener.

Kershaw has allowed 18 runs in his last 14 starts, good enough for a 1.89 ERA since May 1.  The last time he faced the Marlins, he didn't give up a hit until the eighth inning.   Kershaw has pitched exactly as many innings as a starter this year (106.2) than he did last year, so let's look at how he has progressed:

2008 21 106.2 107 51 51 11 51 100 4.30 4.07 1.481 .263/.344/.405
2009 19 106.2 70 35 35 5 60 104 2.95 3.41 1.219 .193/.308/.287

Fun fact:  Clayton Kershaw has yet to allow an unearned run in his major league career.

Josh Johnson has given up more than three runs in only one of 19 starts this season.

Tonight marks the first of 20 games in 20 days.  The Dodgers last had a 20-in-20 stretch from April 21 to May 10, when they went 12-8.

The Dodgers have one of the best offenses in baseball (7th in MLB at 5.0 runs/game, 8th in MLB with a .336 wOBA), so its no surprise they have a well-balanced attack.  Here's a look at the pace for runs and RBI for each regular:

Player R RBI
Martin 68 48
Loney 80 99
Hudson      97 84
Blake 85 97
Furcal 85 44
Manny 82 95
Kemp 95 94
Ethier 92 101

The Dodgers are on pace to have seven players score 80 runs or more, which would tie the 1899 and 1953 teams for the club record.  Only the 1951 Dodgers had six players with 80 or more RBI, which this club is on pace to do.  The 1953 Dodgers, perhaps the greatest team in franchise history, were the only ones with five players with 90 RBI.

Hanley Ramirez leads the majors with a .370 road batting average.

Hong Chih-Kuo is scheduled to pitch again tonight with Inland Empire, and could be called up very soon.

Tom D'Angelo of the Palm Beach Post was intrigued by Bill Plaschke's column today, so he decided to compile a list of the top home runs in Marlins history.  Hint:  the top pick was off a current Dodger.  I'm also fairly certain the name of the person who hit the top Marlins' home run was not misspelled.

Get your guesses in for today's "Clogging The Bases" here.

Game Time: 7:10pm

TV: Prime Ticket

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