|12:40 PM PT1:40 PM MT2:40 PM CT3:40 PM ET15:40 ET19:40 GMT3:40 12:40 PM MST2:40 PM EST3:10 PM VEN23:40 UAE2:40 PM CT, September 26, 2019
PETCO Park, San Diego, California Attendance: 26,285
Dodgers' Kershaw tries to right ship vs. Padres
As everyone knows, three-time National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw has struggled in postseason play.
But Kershaw has put a new twist on his fall failures in 2019.
The 31-year-old left-hander is 9-10 for his career in the playoffs with a 4.32 ERA in 30 games (24 starts).
He is 2-3 with a 5.40 ERA over his last five starts going into his final regular-season start Thursday afternoon against the Padres at Petco Park in San Diego. And those aren't his only troubling numbers.
Since he opened the season with a 13-2 record and a 2.71 ERA in 22 starts, Kershaw has struggled. He has given up 13 homers in his last six starts. On the season, Kershaw has given up a career-high 28 homers -- with 10 of those coming in the first inning, when his ERA is 6.00.
Even with the recent struggles, Kershaw is still 15-5 on the season with a 3.15 ERA, a .227 opponents' batting average and a 1.07 WHIP in 171 1/3 innings.
Kershaw still has the strong backing of Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
"With Clayton, I feel really good that when the bell rings for the postseason, he's going to be locked and loaded," Roberts told reporters recently. "For me, he's feeling strong, I'll trust that the results will be there ... that he'll be more than fine."
Certainly, making his last start of the season against the Padres at Petco Park shouldn't hurt.
Kershaw is 2-0 against the Padres in four previous starts this season with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.
Kershaw has 168 career wins, going 20-6 during his career against the Padres with a 2.03 ERA, a 0.99 WHIP and a .193 opponents' batting average. He has made 38 career starts against the Padres with 261 strikeouts in 248 2/3 innings - or 9.45 strikeouts per nine innings.
And Kershaw is 8-2 against the Padres in 15 starts at Petco Park with a 1.79 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP and a .195 opponents' batting average. He has averaged 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings at the Padres' home.
Kershaw said he has no idea why has been struggling recently, and neither does Roberts. "I wish I had an explanation," said the manager.
Kershaw will be matched against Padres' second-year left-hander Joey Lucchesi (10-9, 4.28 ERA) Thursday afternoon.
Lucchesi will be making his fourth start against the Dodgers this season. He is 1-1 in the first three meetings with a 5.29 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP and 10 strikeouts in 17 innings. Three of the 15 hits the Dodgers have against Lucchesi this season are solo homers by Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Justin Turner.
In two seasons against the Dodgers, Lucchesi is 1-4 with a 6.67 ERA, a 1.48 WHIP and a .270 opponents' batting average while averaging 7.58 strikeouts per nine innings.
Meanwhile, Rod Barajas spoke about his first four days as the Padres manager (Andy Green was fired on Sept. 21) and the differences between managing at Triple-A and the major leagues.
"It's not much different from Triple-A managing," said Barajas. "There's lots more media. There are a lot more questions that you have to answer. It's still managing people. These guys are out here and they are professional. My job is to make sure these guys are being held accountable and doing what they are supposed to be doing. In that aspect of it, it hasn't changed at all. It's just a bigger stadium, bigger crowd, more media. Other than that, it's still baseball."
--Field Level Media
Updated September 26, 2019