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On Clayton Kershaw, wins, losses & the 2018 Dodgers

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Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw on the mound trying to play stopper against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Individual wins and losses don’t tell the complete story, certainly, but Kershaw’s starts in 2018 have been instructive in just how off-kilter the Dodgers’ start to the season has been. Kershaw was effective in April, posting a 2.84 ERA in six starts with 42 strikeouts and nine walks — six in his last outing — in 38 innings. But he was just 1-4, matching his personal loss total for each of the last two seasons.

After going 23-4 in Kershaw’s starts last season, the Dodgers are 2-4 when he starts this year.

Kershaw’s four losses were his most for any month in his career. He had only lost three games in a month four times previously — August 2010, April 2011, May 2012 and June 2015.

In 13 career starts at Chase Field, Kershaw doesn’t have a no-decision. He’s 5-8 with a 3.70 ERA in Phoenix, double the amount of losses he has in any other road ballpark (Kershaw has also lost four times in San Francisco and Colorado, where he has made 21 and 20 starts, respectively).

Since the start of 2016 Kershaw has only made two starts at Chase Field, allowing two runs both times. He struck out 11 in a win in Phoenix in 2016, but this April 3 his two runs in six innings meant a loss. Welcome to 2018.

Kershaw this season has 18 strikeouts and one walk in 13 innings against Arizona in two starts. He has allowed three total runs, all on solo home runs, by Daniel Descalso, David Peralta and Paul Goldschmidt.

On Tuesday Kershaw will try to lower Arizona’s .524 slugging percentage against the Dodgers this season in seven games, including 15 home runs.

The Dodgers have scored 18 total runs in Kershaw’s six starts, including 10 runs with him in the game.

Matt Koch joined the Diamondbacks rotation two weeks ago, and has pitched six innings in both of his starts so far, with two walks and four strikeouts in each outing. He allowed three runs total and Arizona has split the two contests.

Game info

Time: 6:40 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA