Preview: Clayton Kershaw Puts Streak On The Line With Dodgers Hosting Cubs

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers open up a six-game home stand Friday starting with a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs. Chicago and Los Angeles split a four-game series at Wrigley Field earlier far the season.

The implications for this game, and series, however are greater than the previous matchup as jockeying for postseason position intensifies over the next six weeks or so. As it stands, the Dodgers have a slight 2.5-game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the National League West and trail the Cubs by three games for the second Wild Card spot.

With plenty riding on the series, Los Angeles might have the perfect man on the hill tonight in reigning NL MVP and three-time CY Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw. On the season Kershaw is 10-6 with a 2.29 ERA, 2.12 FIP and 0.92 WHIP. He’s thrown 28.0 consecutive scoreless innings at home, which is the longest home streak in the Majors this season.

In his lone start against the Cubs this season, Kershaw gave up three runs, including two home runs, and walked two walks in seven innings of work. It was an odd game for the lefty because in the bottom of the sixth inning the lights went out at Wrigley Field, causing a 10-minute delay in an eventual 4-2 Dodgers loss.

The southpaw has put together a solid month of August going 2-0 in five games with a 1.46 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 37 strikeouts in 37 innings pitched. Although the numbers have been solid, Kershaw hasn’t earned a win in his last two outs despite allowing only two runs over 15 innings.

Opposing Kershaw is right-hander Jason Hammel, who had success against Los Angeles in a previous start this season. In 7.2 innings, Hammel allowed two hits, no runs, and had six strikeouts in a no-decision.

On the season, the 32 year old is 7-5 with a 3.35 ERA, 3.64 FIP, and 1.09 WHIP. Hammel is a career 2-5 with a 4.90 ERA over 15 games (11 starts) against the Dodgers, including 0-3 with a 4.82 ERA at Dodger Stadium, though he last pitched there in 2011.

The Dodgers placed Yasiel Puig on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a right hamstring strain and recalled Jose Peraza from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said the club expected to be without the outfielder for a minimum of 10 days, which led to the DL decision as opposed to playing shorthanded until rosters expand on Sept. 1.

Dodgers lineup:

SS: Jimmy Rollins

2B: Chase Utley

1B: Adrian Gonzalez

3B: Justin Turner

RF: Andre Ethier

LF: Carl Crawford

C: Yasmani Grandal

CF: Kiké Hernandez

P: Clayton Kershaw

Cubs lineup:

CF: Dexter Fowler

RF: Chris Denorfia

3B: Kris Bryant

1B: Anthony Rizzo

2B: Starlin Castro

LF: Matt Szczur

C: Miguel Montero

P: Jason Hammel

SS: Addison Russell


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