Preview: Clayton Kershaw Tries To Play Stopper Once More For Dodgers

Preview: Clayton Kershaw Tries To Play Stopper Once More For Dodgers

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers extended their losing streak to 11 games on Tuesday morning with a frustrating defeat at the hands of the San Francisco Giants. The magic number to clinch the National League West decreased to 10 games, however, after the Colorado Rockies took care of business against the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks.

Making his 24th start of the season is Clayton Kershaw, who looks to be a stopper and finally get the Dodgers back into the win column. In his last outing against the Rockies — Kershaw’s third since being activated from the disabled list — he lasted just 3.2 innings and yielded nine baserunners to go along with four runs in what was his third loss of the year.

It was an uncharacteristic start for the three-time Cy Young Award winner, who has otherwise put up elite numbers all season long. In 151 innings pitched, Kershaw owns a league-best 2.15 ERA and opponents’ on-base percentage of .235, to go along with a 2.91 FIP and 0.90 WHIP with 182 strikeouts against 27 walks.

Over his career against the Giants, the southpaw has pitched to a minuscule 1.62 ERA and 0.81 WHIP in 283.1 innings.

San Francisco counters with Johnny Cueto, who’s in the midst of a disappointing season by his standards. In 126 innings, he owns a 4.43 ERA, 4.60 FIP and 1.37 WHIP with 112 strikeouts to 43 walks.

In his last outing against the Rockies, Cueto allowed one earned run and five hits over five frames — tallying seven strikeouts in the process. Cueto has fared well against the Dodgers in his career, posting a 3.21 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 101 innings with 88 strikeouts to 24 walks.

Yasiel Puig, who hit his 25th home run of the season in the series opener, is batting .250/.340/.477 (113 wRC+) with six extra-base hits over his last 50 plate appearances. Corey Seager has hit safely in 19 consecutive starts, batting .342 during the stretch. This season against the Giants, he’s hitting .346 with 18 hits in 52 at-bats.

Despite the Giants’ struggles in 2017, Buster Posey has enjoyed yet another productive season. In his last 42 plate appearances, he’s slashing .432/.500/.541 with four doubles — good for a 180 wRC+.

Although Chase Utley started Monday night, he was lifted after playing the field in the bottom of the first inning. That was due to the Giants trotting out Ty Blach after the second rain delay. Utley returns to the lineup, starting at second base and batting eighth.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he hopes to settle on a more consistent lineup in the coming weeks.

Dodgers lineup:

CF: Chris Taylor
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Cody Bellinger
RF: Yasiel Puig
LF: Curtis Granderson
C: Yasmani Grandal
2B: Chase Utley
P: Clayton Kershaw

Giants lineup:

CF: Gorkys Hernandez
2B: Joe Panik
RF: Hunter Pence
1B: Buster Posey
C: Nick Hundley
LF: Austin Slater
3B: Orlando Calixte
SS: Kelby Tomlinson
P: Johnny Cueto