After suffering a walk-off loss Friday in the 10th inning, the Los Angeles Dodgers hand the ball to Clayton Kershaw, who makes his second start this year.
Kershaw returns to Chase Field, where he endured one of the worst losses of his career last season. On May 17, which was the left-hander’s fourth start since coming off the disabled list, Kershaw allowed seven runs on six hits in just 1.2 innings.
The Dodgers returned to Arizona in late August and Kershaw atoned for his abysmal outing by throwing eight innings and allowing just one unearned run in what was his 16th win of the season.
Since allowing the seven runs on May 17, Kershaw is 9-0 with a 1.25 ERA in his last 10 road starts, including two complete games (with one a shutout). Moreover, the Dodgers’ ace is 11-0 with a 1.06 ERA in 12 starts against the National League West since that same loss.
The reigning National League MVP is now coming off a start in which he wasn’t particularly sharp. Despite not having his best command, Kershaw struck out nine batters and allowed three runs in six innings against the San Diego Padres on Opening Day. He walked away with a no-decision, which sets the stage for him to earn his first win of the season on Saturday.
Also of note, Kershaw can move into fifth on the Dodgers’ all-time strikeouts list should he collect three of them; two will tie Orel Hershiser. Kershaw is 10-7 lifetime against the Arizona Diamondbacks and averages 10 strikeouts per nine innings.
After facing relatively inexperience Chase Anderson Friday night, the Dodgers draw Archie Bradley, who makes his Major-League debut. Bradley has been ranked among the Diamondbacks’ top prospects and top overall pitching prospects in recent years.
The 22-year-old right-hander went 3-7 with a 4.45 ERA in a combined 18 starts made with the Diamondbacks’ Rookie Level, Double-A and Triple-A affiliates last season. Bradley’s most extensive work came in Double-A, where he was 2-3 with a 4.12 ERA, and had 46 strikeouts in 54.2 innings over 12 starts.
Bradley allowed just four runs and had 14 strikeouts in six Cactus League games (including four starts). He threw a total of 22.1 innings during the spring and had at least two strikeouts in each of his outings.
Mired in a 2-for-17 slump with six strikeouts to open the season, Yasiel Puig finds himself on the bench Saturday. Andre Ethier makes his first start in place of Puig and bats fifth in the Dodgers’ lineup.
Ethier is hitless in three pinch-hit appearances this season, including a groundout last night but has reached on an error and scored a run. Juan Uribe is another regular who’s out of the lineup and he’s replaced by Justin Turner.
SS: Jimmy Rollins
LF: Carl Crawford
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
2B: Howie Kendrick
RF: Andre Ethier
3B: Justin Turner
CF: Joc Pederson
C: A.J. Ellis
P: Clayton Kershaw
CF: A.J. Pollock
LF: Ender Inciarte
1B: Paul Goldschmidt
RF: Mark Trumbo
3B: Aaron Hill
2B: Chris Owings
C: Tuffy Gosewisch
SS: Nick Ahmed
P: Archie Bradley
Dodgers Utility Man Justin Turner