Tonight is one of those nights where you watch this Dodgers/Nationals game even if you are not a fan of either team just to see this pitching match-up that looks like names you would see in Game 1 of a playoff game. Clayton Kershaw is having another Cy Young type of season with a 1.58 ERA and Stephen Strasburg has been just as good at times. This will certainly be the best pitcher Strasburg has gone up against this year. Strasburg has a 10-0 record and Kershaw is 10-1. Stephen Strasburg has been scratched from tonight’s start and replaced by Yusmeiro Petit. It’s been reported that Strasburg has an upper back strain.
The weather is hot right now in Los Angeles with temperatures currently at 95° and heading to near 100º. Temperatures at first pitch should drop a few degrees and then by sundown back in the 80’s. The ball should carry early in the game.
The only way it seems to beat Kershaw is with home runs and some creative “small ball”. Kershaw has created jams for himself and then seemingly does a Houdini act to get out of them. Stephen Strasburg has the ability to pitch as good as Kershaw as the Dodgers offense has been struggling.
The most successful batter to ever face Kershaw was Adam Dunn. They faced each other 14 times and Dunn got him for 4 HRs and a .615 BA. Cristian Guzman also hit Kershaw well at .556. Go figure. Then you have Jonathan Lucroy who is 0-17 against Kershaw, and Lucroy is not alone as there are 323 batters who have faced Kershaw who have never even hit safely off of him. Kershaw in an average game will lower everyone’s batting average, but he can be beat.
Here is the Nats stats against Kershaw:
Here is Yusmeiro Petit’s stats against the Dodgers:
Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers
Stadium: Dodgers Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
1st Pitch: 10:10pm EDT
TV: MASN2, ESPN, SNLA-Dodgers, SportsNet LA, MLB.tv
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):