Clayton Kershaw has thrown a combined 15 innings and allowed just two runs, but the Los Angeles Dodgers have zero wins to show for it. Their bullpen betrayed them in each of the games, which has contributed to the club’s five-game losing streak.
As a result of their rough stretch, the Dodgers’ lead in the National League West is down to 1.5 games over the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers have an off-day Monday while the Giants begin a three-game home series with the Chicago Cubs.
After watching the Houston Astros tie the game against Kenley Jansen in the ninth and win on Justin Castro’s walk-off home run against Chris Hatcher in the 10th, Kershaw shared his belief that some panic and a sense of urgency will suit the club well, according to Pedro Moura of the OC Register:
I hope we’re panicking a little bit. I think panic’s a good thing, to a certain extent,” Kershaw said. “It’s August whatever-it-is and we have five weeks and whatever it is, too. There needs to be a sense of urgency — maybe that’s better to say than panic. I feel like we have to start playing like that.”
Whereas the Dodgers were 23-4 in games Kershaw started in 2014, an MVP and Cy Young-year for the left-hander, they’re just over .500 at 13-12 in his starts this season. Next up on the docket for Kershaw is a scheduled start on Friday, the series opener with the Cubs at Dodger Stadium.
As for the pesky Giants who seemingly have been nibbling at the Dodgers’ heels throughout the season, there’s seven games to be played between the two rivals. The first of the remaining two series begins Aug. 31 at Dodger Stadium, with a four-game series at AT&T Park beginning Sept. 28.
In going to a four-man rotation on the road trip and taking advantage of the off days, the Dodgers have aligned their starting staff so that Zack Greinke and Kershaw can take the ball in both series against the Giants.