Clayton Kershaw takes the mound in another marquee matchup as he goes head-to-head with Stephen Strasburg in a rare midweek matinee affair at Dodger Stadium. The Los Angeles Dodgers need a win to avoid being swept by the Washington Nationals.
Kershaw and Strasburg were set to face one another last season, which influenced Vin Scully to push through sickness so he could call the game, only for Strasburg to be a last-minute scratch.
Kershaw looks to continue his dominance over the Nationals, whom he hasn’t suffered a loss to since the 2010 season. In 14 career outings (13 starts) against the current National League East leaders, Kershaw is 10-2 with a 2.02 ERA and 0.89 WHIP.
He faced them once during the regular season last year, allowing one run on six hits, and striking out eight over seven innings pitched. Kershaw is coming off a milestone performance against the Milwaukee Brewers, in which he reached — and exceeded — 2,000 career strikeouts.
Kershaw set a season high with 14 strikeouts, though was in line for a tough-luck loss because of a solo home run allowed. The Dodgers pulled out a come-from-behind victory in 12 innings, and their left-handed ace didn’t factor into the decision.
This season, Kershaw is 7-2 with a 2.28 ERA, 2.95 FIP, 179 ERA+ and 0.90 WHIP in 12 starts. Meanwhile, Strasburg is coming off a start against the Oakland Athletics, when he allowed two runs on four hits.
Prior to facing the Dodgers last season, the right-hander was 13-0. He recorded 10 strikeouts but also surrendered six runs on seven hits, including two home runs to Justin Turner, and suffered the loss.
Strasburg did not pitch in the 2016 NL Division Series because of injury. He enters the start 7-1 with a 2.91 ERA, 2.63 FIP and 1.05 WHIP. Strasburg threw seven innings in his only career start at Dodger Stadium, allowing one run in a no-decision
Both Kershaw and Strasburg enter play tied for the highest win total in the NL.
Adrian Gonzalez is 6-for-12 in his career against Strasburg, with two doubles and two RBIs. He and Corey Seager were the only Dodgers not to strike out against Max Scherzer in Tuesday’s loss.
CF: Chris Taylor
SS: Corey Seager
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
C: Yasmani Grandal
LF: Cody Bellinger
3B: Logan Forsythe
2B: Chase Utley
RF: Yasiel Puig
P: Clayton Kershaw
SS: Trea Turner
LF: Ryan Raburn
RF: Bryce Harper
1B: Ryan Zimmerman
2B: Daniel Murphy
3B: Anthony Rendon
CF: Michael A. Taylor
C: Jose Lobaton
P: Stephen Strasburg