The Dodgers have won just four times in their last 21 games at AT&T Park — we’ve been over this — but Tuesday night they send to the mound the winner of three of those games, with Clayton Kershaw starting against the Giants.
Kershaw allowed seven total runs in three starts in San Francisco last season — a 2.35 ERA with 22 strikeouts and two walks in 23 innings — and it was the most he has ever allowed in one season on the road to the Giants.
That will happen when you only allow 22 total runs (20 earned) in 17 career starts at AT&T Park, for a 1.36 ERA.
Of course, given the Dodgers offensive woes in San Francisco — 2.33 runs per game since the start of 2015 — Kershaw lost one of those three starts in 2016, a 3-0 defeat on Oct. 1 in the penultimate game of the regular season.
The opposing pitcher on that Saturday was left-hander Ty Blach, who allowed three singles and a walk in eight scoreless innings in his second major league start.
The 26-year-old Blach makes his third major league start on Tuesday night, stepping into a Madison Bumgarner-sized hole in the Giants rotation. Blach has pitched exclusively in relief this season, with his last appearance a one-inning outing on Apr. 21, just four days ago.
To date, Blach’s major league career consists of 22⅔ total innings. Against the Dodgers, Blach has 11 scoreless innings. Against everyone else, he allowed five runs on eight hits in 11⅔ innings.
Blach’s career ERA at AT&T Park, in 10⅓ innings, is 0.00. That’s even better than Kershaw.
With Kershaw now in his 10th season, and facing the Giants so much through the years, there are quite a few memorable batter vs. pitcher numbers in this matchup.
Buster Posey has faced Kershaw for 94 plate appearances in his career, 22 PA more than any other player — Troy Tulowitzki, now in Toronto, has faced Kershaw 72 times. Posey is a .233/.266/.333 hitter against Kershaw in their various appearances.
Posey also has two of the four home runs Kershaw has allowed to players on the current Giants roster. The other two were hit by Madison Bumgarner.
Hunter Pence has faced Kershaw the fifth-most times, at 67 PA, and is a beastly 6-for-66 with no extra-base hits, one walk, and 17 strikeouts, hitting .091/.104/.091, even more remarkable since Pence is a right-handed hitter.
On the left vs. left side, Brandon Belt has faced Kershaw 55 times, eighth-most among all hitters. Belt is 3-for-51 (.059) with a double, three walks, and 27 strikeouts. His last hit against Kershaw came on July 29, 2012, a second-inning single. Since then, Belt is 0-for-37 with one walk, one hit by pitch, and 22 strikeouts.
Climbing the ladder
Tuesday is the 268th start of Kershaw’s career, breaking his tie with Bob Welch for 13th-most in Dodgers franchise history. Up next is Nap Rucker at 274 starts. Kershaw could realistically move into the top 10 by season’s end. Tenth place is currently occupied by Hall of Fame pitcher Burleigh Grimes, who started 287 games for Brooklyn from 1918-1926.
Time: 7:15 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA