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Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers try to turn things around

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MLB: Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles Dodgers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers find themselves in desperate need of a win again on Tuesday, and will send to the mound the only pitcher to win a game for them in the last 17 days.

Clayton Kershaw takes the mound against the Giants in the middle game of the series at AT&T Park, a stadium in which he has enjoyed his greatest success, with a 1.29 career ERA in 146 innings in San Francisco.

But Kershaw is not immune to the goblins that have invaded the Dodgers’ 2017 season. His last start was a clunker, lasting just 3⅔ innings in a loss to the Rockies.

Since the start of the 2010 season, Kershaw has pitched fewer than five innings 11 times, not counting any final starts of the regular season to tune up for the playoffs. Some of those were due to injury (this July 23) or illness (opening day 2012 in San Diego).

In Kershaw’s first start after these shortened starts, he has a 1.34 ERA and the Dodgers have won nine of 10 games. Since the start of 2012, Kershaw has allowed only two runs in 31 innings in five such games, with 46 strikeouts and four walks. The games:

  • Apr. 13, 2010 vs. Arizona: 5⅓ IP, 3 hits, 2 runs, 5 walks, 7 strikeouts
  • May 9, 2010 vs. Colorado: 8 IP, 2 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
  • July 20, 2010 vs. San Francisco: 6 IP, 4 hits, 4 runs (2 earned), 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
  • Sept. 24, 2010 at Arizona: 8 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 9 strikeouts
  • Apr. 21, 2011 vs. Atlanta: 8⅔ IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts
  • Apr. 10, 2012 vs. Pittsburgh: 7 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 7 strikeouts
  • May 23, 2014 at Philadelphia: 6 IP, 2 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
  • Sept. 14, 2016 at New York Yankees: 5 IP, 1 hit, 5 strikeouts
  • June 2, 2017 at Milwaukee: 7 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 14 strikeouts
  • Sept. 1, 2017 at San Diego: 6 IP, 2 hits, 7 strikeouts

Even with 11 straight losses, believe it or not, the Dodgers can clinch a playoff berth as early as Tuesday night. They need two things to happen:

  1. Either the Pirates beat the Brewers (4:40 p.m. PT start) OR Mets beat the Cubs (5:05 p.m.)
  2. Dodgers beat the Giants

Stranger things have occurred.

Game info

Time: 7:15 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA, KTLA