With the All-Star Game a mere five days away, the Los Angeles Dodgers look to head into the break on a strong note after dropping both games against the Detroit Tigers. Beginning Thursday, the Dodgers play a four-game series with the San Diego Padres.
The Dodgers hand the ball to Clayton Kershaw, who is in the midst of a historical streak. Kershaw jumped to third on the list of Dodgers’ scoreless innings with 36 consecutive scoreless innings. He looks to extend his streak against a team he has not faced this season.
Kershaw has a record of 10-2, with an ERA of 1.85 on the season. As the left-hander approaches the eligibility requirements for starting pitchers, he will be ranked among the top of the Major Leagues in ERA. Kershaw is currently fourth in the National League in wins and complete games and is seventh in strikeouts, despite being out for a month due to injury.
The Dodger ace has made 21 career starts against the Padres and has compiled a 9-6 record and 2.47 ERA. The Padres come in as the NL’s worst offensive team, which could bode well for Kershaw.
On the mound for the Padres will be Odrisamer Despaigne, a Cuban rookie who was signed as a free agent. In three career starts, the right-handed pitcher is 2-0 with an ERA of 0.92. Despaigne has allowed only two earned runs in 19.2 innings of work so far in his extremely young career.
In his last two starts, Despaigne issued a combined eight walks to just four strikeouts. The 27-year-old has been able to keep his WHIP down though as he has only given up 11 hits in his 19.2 innings of pitching.
After spending the last two games as the designated hitter, Hanley Ramirez is back at shortstop Thursday. Carl Crawford was activated from the disabled list, but Matt Kemp remains in left field, while Scott Van Slyke gets the nod in center.
CF: Van Slyke
Dodgers History: MLB Facts About Kershaw’s No-Hitter