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Kershaw, Dodgers Look to Stop the Bleeding

Clayton Kershaw has never pitched seven or more innings in back-to-back starts.  Might today be a first?
Clayton Kershaw has never pitched seven or more innings in back-to-back starts. Might today be a first?

Fresh off his strongest outing of the young season, Clayton Kershaw takes the mound trying to get the Dodgers back on track.  The Dodgers carry their 3-7 road record into Washington DC, hoping to avoid a season first.  The good news is that the Dodgers haven't yet lost three games in a row this season.  The bad news is that they have lost two in a row three times, and sit with a 7-9 record.

This weekend in Washington features back-to-back starts by Kershaw and Chad Billingsley.  Kershaw has started consecutive games with Billingsley in 27 of his 54 career starts.  In those 27 Kershaw-Billingsley tag teams, the Dodgers have won both games six times, lost both games four times, and they split 17 times.  The last time the Dodgers won consecutive starts by Kershaw and Billingsley was last July 5 and 7.

The Dodgers in their last two games have lost to pitchers making the third and first starts of their respective careers, so today's mound opponent Craig Stammen must seem like a seasoned veteran as he makes his 23rd career start.  Since the beginning of 2009, there have been 142 pitchers to throw 100 innings, and Stammen's 4.05 strikeouts per nine innings ranks 140th.

Other Notes

  • Kershaw has made three career starts against the Nationals: two wins at Dodger Stadium giving up a total of one run, and one loss in Washington in which he allowed five runs over 2 1/3 innings.
  • Last night's game was only the second game all season that the Dodgers didn't bring the tying or go-ahead run to the plate in the eighth inning or later.
  • The Dodgers lead the majors with 14 unearned runs allowed this season.  In 2009, they didn't give up an unearned run until the 20th game of the season.
  • Jonathan Broxton did not pitch in the last five days, and has pitched just once in the last eight days.
  • Wil Nieves will make a scheduled start at catcher for the Nationals, while Ivan Rodriguez gets the day off with a tight back, per Bill Ladson of
  • Ladson also reported that Ryan Zimmerman will likely not play today, sitting out his third straight game with a sore right hamstring.
  • Ernest Reyes of Blue Heaven brings us a fun USA Story about "The Barber of Baseball"

In case you missed Phil Gurnee's Q&A with Will Yoder of Nats Blog, click here.


Game Time:  10:05am

TV:  Prime Ticket

Baseball Reference Preview  | Box Score | Gameday