The Los Angeles Dodgers turned in the collective effort on offense manager Dave Roberts called for, combining to hit five home runs in a blowout victory over the New York Mets. Chase Utley led the way with two home runs, including a grand slam, and five RBIs.
Matching that offensive production or coming close to it would figure to go a long way Sunday night, as Clayton Kershaw takes the mound in the three-game series finale. Kershaw enters 7-1 with a 1.48 ERA, 1.43 FIP and 0.66 WHIP in 10 starts this season.
He leads the Majors with 95 strikeouts, and in ERA and WHIP. Kershaw has been particularly dominant during the month of May, going 5-0 with a 0.64 ERA and 0.52 WHIP.
What’s more, the left-handed ace has thrown three complete-game shutouts in May; with one coming against the Mets. Kershaw also set a Dodgers franchise record with six consecutive starts with 10 or more strikeouts, which fell one shy of tying Randy Johnson’s National League record set in 2001.
Kershaw’s current 19.00 strikeout-to-walk-ratio is on pace for the highest mark in the Majors since Phil Hughes’ 11.63 ratio set with the Minnesota Twins in 2014. In 10 career regular-season starts against the Mets, Kershaw is 7-0 with a 1.17 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 74 strikeouts in 69.1 innings pitched.
He’s 3-0 with a 1.01 ERA in four starts at Citi Field. Including a Game 4 start in the 2015 National League Division Series, Kershaw has allowed just one run in his last 16 innings pitched at the Mets’ home ballpark.
Just as Kenta Maeda and Noah Syndergaard did on Saturday, Kershaw’s start comes in a rematch with Bartolo Colon. The right-hander allowed five runs on seven hits in just five innings pitched against the Dodgers on May 12.
Colon is 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA, 3.66 FIP and 1.22 WHIP in 10 games (nine starts) this season. He owns a 2.66 ERA in four starts at Citi Field in 2016. He faces a Dodgers lineup that’s largely unchanged and features a hot-hitting Utley again at the top of the order.
After Yasmani Grandal started the first two games of the series, A.J. Ellis catches a third consecutive Kershaw start.
2B: Chase Utley
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
RF: Yasiel Puig
CF: Joc Pederson
LF: Howie Kendrick
C: A.J. Ellis
P: Clayton Kershaw
RF: Curtis Granderson
SS: Asdrubal Cabrera
LF: Yoenis Cespedes
2B: Neil Walker
CF: Juan Lagares
3B: Wilmer Flores
C: Kevin Plawecki
1B: Eric Campbell
P: Bartolo Colon