Preview: Dodgers Host Rockies With First Place In NL West Up For Grabs
The Los Angeles Dodgers swept their three-game series with the Seattle Mariners in the Civil Rights Game on Jackie Robinson Day, then had Thursday off before beginning a weekend series against the National League West-leading Colorado Rockies.
Clayton Kershaw takes the mound looking to bounce back from a subpar outing in which the Arizona Diamondbacks tallied 10 hits and scored six runs (five earned). Coming into Friday’s game, opponents have a .320 batting average in two starts against the reigning National League MVP, who hasn’t been his usual self so far this season.
Kershaw, however, has certainly had success against Colorado in his career. He’s 13-5 lifetime with a 3.17 ERA in 26 starts against the Rockies. Last season, it was the Rockies who were on the wrong end of history as Kershaw threw his first career no-hitter during which he amassed 15 strikeouts and was a Hanley Ramirez error from a perfect game.
While they worked together during Spring Training, Friday marks the first time this season Kershaw is being caught by Yasmani Grandal and not A.J. Ellis.
The Rockies counter by sending Kyle Kendrick to the mound. He’s 1-1 this with a 6.00 ERA in his first season with the Rockies after having spent the previous eight with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Kendrick threw seven scoreless innings in his first start of the season, then got pushed around by the Chicago Cubs, allowing eight runs on eight hits in five innings; he also walked five batters. Kendrick is 5-6 with a 6.47 ERA in 13 games (10 starts) against the Dodgers, including
3-3 with a 7.31 ERA at Dodger Stadium.
Both teams are off to a strong start this season with only one game separating them in the NL West standings. The Rockies arrive in Los Angeles a perfect 6-0 on the road and are fresh off a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants.
The Dodgers meanwhile have won four straight with two of their last three wins coming in walk-off fashion. Adrian Gonzalez has been leading the way for the Dodgers with an impressive .528 batting average to go along with five home runs, which both lead the NL. Yasiel Puig is missing a third straight game due to tightness in his hamstring.
DJ LeMahieu has helped the Rockies to their hot start, hitting safely in all nine games this season and he has eight multi-hit games thus far. Catcher Nick Hundley has had success against Kershaw in the past, hitting a .310 batting average with one double and three RBIs in his career against the lefty.
The Rockies have a lineup heavy on right-handed hitters as Carlos Gonzalez and reigning NL batting champion Justin Morneau both begin the night on the bench. Also of note, Rockies manager Walt Weiss is batting Kendrick eighth and LeMahieu ninth.
SS: Jimmy Rollins
LF: Carl Crawford
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
2B: Howie Kendrick
C: Yasmani Grandal
RF: Andre Ethier
3B: Juan Uribe
CF: Joc Pederson
P: Clayton Kershaw
RF: Charlie Blackmon
SS: Troy Tulowitzki
3B: Nolan Arenado
1B: Wilin Rosario
C: Nick Hundley
LF: Corey Dickerson
CF: Drew Stubbs
P: Kyle Kendrick
2B: DJ LeMaheiu
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