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Kershaw, Dodgers Look to Rebound Against Giants

Clayton Kershaw's only career start against the Giants was a special one.
Clayton Kershaw's only career start against the Giants was a special one.

Heading into today's finale against the Giants, the Dodgers find themselves playing a team that has scored the same number of runs as them, an unlikely proposition heading into the season.   Courtesy of yesterday's 9-0 shutout win, the Giants and the Dodgers have each scored 68 runs through 11 games.

Top NL Offenses
Team Games Runs Runs/Gm
Phillies 11 78 7.09
11 68 6.18
Giants 11 68 6.18

Trying to stop the resurgent Giant offense will be Clayton Kershaw, coming off of two subpar starts, having walked 11 in 10 innings so far this season.  His wildness got the best of him in the home opener Tuesday, cutting short his outing to 5 1/3 innings.  He walked five batters, but he also struck out seven and allowed just two runs while picking up his first win since last July.  Manager Joe Torre tried to give Kershaw the lineup card to commemorate his home opener win, but Kershaw was in no mood to celebrate.

"He's still getting used to what he is and what he's going to be," Torre said of his young pitcher, "He's a special young man if he stays healthy.  His ability is just part of it.  He's got a great competitive spirit."  Kershaw was a special young man in his only career start against the Giants, at Dodger Stadium last April 15.  He struck out 13 that night and allowed only one hit, a home run by Bengie Molina.

It is probably too much to expect a repeat of that performance today from Kershaw, but it's hard not to get excited for someone who has allowed a total of 20 earned runs in his last 17 starts at Dodger Stadium.  What does Torre expect from Kershaw? 

"I look for a better start.  I have a great deal of confidence in this kid."

Other Notes

  • Matt Kemp has a seven-game hitting streak, and is hitting .355/.417/.871 with 11 runs scored and 10 RBI over those seven games.
  • The Dodgers are looking to win their second consecutive series against a National League West foe, after defeating Arizona last series.  Last season, the Dodgers went 16-6-2 in 24 series against their division, and had an overall record against the NL West of 46-26
  • Aaron Rowand will be placed on the disabled list with a broken cheekbone, and will be replaced on the Giants' 25-man roster by infielder Matt Downs, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • Since last year's all-star break, Barry Zito, today's starter for San Francisco, is 6-4 with a 2.64 ERA.  The Giants are 11-5 in those starts.

Xeifrank's simulation of today's game is here.

Game Time: 1:10pm

TV: Prime Ticket

Baseball Reference Preview | Box Score | Gameday