The Dodgers return home on Friday night and resume play with a pivotal three game series against the Washington Nationals. Due to the fingernail injury to Rich Hill, the Dodgers will move up everyone in the rotation each one day. This means that Clayton Kershaw will get the nod for the series opener on Friday and Hyun-jin Ryu will match up against Stephen Strasburg on Saturday. Alex Wood will take the mound in the series finale on Sunday versus Jeremy Hellickson.
Friday’s series opener will feature a marquee pitching match-up as Kershaw will battle Max Scherzer. According to baseball history, this will be just the thirteenth time that three-time Cy Young award winners will face each other. This has happened just ten times in regular season history, and three times in postseason history. To show you how rare this is, here is the list of the match-ups with dates and scores.
Starting Pitching Matchups Between Pitchers Who Had Won 3+ Cy Young Awards Prior to Matchup – All-Time (reg & post)
|GAME DATE||ROAD STARTER||HOME STARTER||WINNER||PLAYOFF GAME|
|04/08/1981||Steve Carlton, Phi||Tom Seaver, Cin||Cin, 3-2|
|08/18/1981||Steve Carlton, Phi||Tom Seaver, Cin||Cin, 3-1|
|05/24/1982||Steve Carlton, Phi||Tom Seaver, Cin||Phi, 9-1|
|04/05/1983||Steve Carlton, Phi||Tom Seaver, NYM||NYM, 2-0|
|04/23/1984||Jim Palmer, Bal||Tom Seaver, CWS||CWS, 7-6 (10)|
|06/03/2000||Roger Clemens, NYY||Greg Maddux, Atl||Atl, 11-7|
|04/14/2001||Roger Clemens, NYY||Pedro Martinez, Bos||NYY, 3-2|
|10/16/2001||Greg Maddux, Atl||Randy Johnson, Ari||Ari, 2-0||NLCS Gm1|
|10/11/2003||Roger Clemens, NYY||Pedro Martinez, Bos||NYY, 4-3||ALCS Gm3|
|10/16/2003||Pedro Martinez, Bos||Roger Clemens, NYY||NYY, 6-5 (11)||ALCS Gm7|
|04/29/2005||Greg Maddux, ChC||Roger Clemens, Hou||ChC, 3-2|
|07/19/2006||Roger Clemens, Hou||Greg Maddux, ChC||Hou, 4-2|
So far Kershaw is off to another incredible start to the season. Despite his 1-2 record, he has a 1.73 ERA and a 6.9 H/9 rate over 26 innings pitched. Kershaw has struck out 31 and walked only 3 while striking out 10.7 per nine. He’s allowed just five earned runs over his first four starts. Kershaw’s career numbers against Washington have been nothing short of dominance.
Over 14 starts and 96 innings Kershaw has an 11-2 record with a 1.97 ERA versus the Nationals. This includes 113 whiffs and only 20 walks with a 0.8 WHIP. He’s averaged over 10 strikeouts per nine innings when he pitches against the Nationals and has a 5-1 strikeout to walk ratio. The current Nationals have had some success against Kershaw. The Nats are slashing .263/.289/.380 (47 for 179) against Kersh with 5 home runs and a .669 OPS.
However Kershaw has struck out 47 and walked only 8 while limiting the Nats to just 11 extra-base hits in 190 plate appearances. National’s third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is hitting .323 (10 for 31) with a home run in 33 plate appearances versus Kershaw. Former Dodger Howie Kendrick is 6 for 15 and Bryce Harper is hitting just .087 (2 for 23).
Kershaw vs. Washington
Max Scherzer has been just as stingy as Kershaw this year as he’s gotten off to a fantastic start to the 2018 season. In four starts Scherzer is 4-1 with a 1.33 ERA with 38 strikeouts and only 4 walks over 27 innings pitched. He’s given up just 4.7 hits per nine and posted a 0.6 WHIP. He’s also striking out over 12 batters per nine innings.
Scherzer is 3-4 with a 2.92 ERA over 9 career starts against the Dodgers. He’s struck out 63 in 61.2 innings pitched while walking 13. In 6 career starts at Dodger Stadium he is 2-2 with a 3.26 ERA and 44 strikeouts against 9 walks across 38.2 innings pitched. Scherzer has held the current Dodgers to a .178/.234/.347 line with 4 home runs and a .582 OPS. No Dodger has had more than 6 career hits against Scherzer. Matt Kemp is 6 for 46 (.130) with a home run and two doubles. Chase Utley is 4 for 19 and Joc Pederson, and Corey Seager have hit home runs.
Scherzer vs. Dodgers
Don’t sleep on this one!
36 thoughts on “Dodgers Open Homestand With Historic Pitching Duel”
Nationals 3.2 to 2.8. Dodgers strike out 11 times.
The fact that Kershaw is 1 and 2, shows just how much pitcher’s wins really mean, not that much.
The bad thing I saw in those stats, was the two players that have the best averages against Scherzer, are not on the team right now.
Both Turner and Toles has the best averages, against Scherzer.
Scherzer has been good, but so has Kershaw, so it will probably be a very close game, and it will probably be the first bullpen that gives up a run, will make the difference, in this game.
Kershaw has given up 4 HR’s in 4 games. Only Font has more HR’s, at 5.
The bats will decide who wins. Dodgers are hot right now. We all look forward to this game.
I do get concerned like you, when Kershaw gives up HRs.
But you have to remember when your comparing Kershaw to Font, kershaw has thrown more innings then Font, so those five HRs Font has given up, mean much more, then the four HRs, Kershaw has given up.
And like you, I hope are bats will continue to be hot, but in this last series, we were not facing this type of top pitching, so I don’t think we will really find out, just how hot, or good, our bats are, until after this next series.
Good Job!! I knew you could defend my pitcher. I think you just picked on Kershaw to needle me. You liked him all along.
Everyone likes needling you MJ…You are an easy mark because you get so offended! But that’s cool…keep up the good work!
I have been waiting for you to finally get that, I do like you, and everyone here, even if we don’t always, agree.
I am excited about this next series, except the Sunday game, that is going to be covered, by ESPN.
Wasn’t comparing Kershaw to Font. Just pointing to something that has become apparent this season. Kershaw is not what he was. Injuries, wear and tear, and who knows what else, slows an athlete down. Without the bats, no cigar.
Should be a great game. Low scoring too….1952 Mantle sells for ……2.8 million…..second only to the 4 million paid for the Honus Wagner card.
Pivotal? In April?
Should be a great pitchers duel. I’m having the cable service with the dodger channel installed today. Hopefully I can get to watch the game tonight. 🙂
The way they are playing Artie, all the games are pilotable.
I hope you get that installed in time too!
I know you love all the fundamentals of the game, so you deserve this.
Well, I guess the big dummy manager thinks that Joc can hit Scherzer but not Kemp? It is a disgrace to be so partial toward Joc. LA fans should be appalled.
I find this disrespectful to Kemp, who has lead this offense, during this little winning streak.
Me too. I bet Roberts would say he has discussed it with Kemp but he probably just told Kemp that was the way it is. He might think it helps Joc but I think it hurts Kemp. They were off yesterday and Kemp needs to play.
I agree with everything you said!
Joc has only ever got a hit off Scherzer, in that one National League Series, in 2016.
The most important thing, is this best for the team to win?
We will have to see, but if I was Kemp, I would get tired of all of this.
Platoon think. It’s The Dodger Way To Play Baseball.
Since when is platoon the Dodger way to play baseball??
Kemp has better numbers against both lefties and righties, then Joc does.
Kemp has been OWNED by Scherzer. Joc had decent numbers against him and homered off him in the playoffs last year.
Yes, he had a homer in the playoffs but I don’t show any other numbers. Perhaps you could enlighten me?
I was listening to Joe and Orel. They were talking about his playoff performance from 2 years ago. According to Dodger Digest he had some success against Scherzer. But Kemp was like 3-35 against Scherzer. Look, I know Joc is no Kemp, and this year he is not hitting with any power. But he has the least K’s of any hitter on the team except Muncy who has not been up all that long. Roberts playing the matchup more than the fact that Kemp is a better hitter. I think that Roberts was also hoping that Joc might walk into one and get lucky.
You still don’t bet against Kemp, not with a player like Joc whose cold side far outweighs his hot side.
October 2014 pack.
MJ, I hope you don’t think I’m in favor of Joc over Kemp.
No sorry, I am just frustrated with this stuff.
You do tend to sound like a broken record when you use the platoon line. This is no explanation for smart baseball decisions.
That first inning, is what gets to me, because we didn’t learn from what Haper did, the half inning before.
We seem to always try to do to much, especially when a runner is on third, with less then two outs.
of course granny ground out hits into an inning ending DP. What’s with Scherzer hitting Corey twice. Nats are lucky Drysdale is dead…..3 of those guys would be on their ass after that.
Are you ever right about Big D. He would give them payback like you would not believe!
They didn’t learn from what Harper did when he came up in the same situation, in the half inning before!
We just needed someone to put the ball in play, and we would at the least, have one run.
But these guys try to do to much!
Puig has the best numbers in this line up, and he hits righties better then lefties, and that is the only reason, he is hitting at the back of this lineup.
Puig has also had more success the last year or so at the back end of the lineup. I also think you need to give some credit to Scherzer. The guy is good and he has been setting the hitters up expertly. The only guy who has solved him is Taylor. And you are assuming they did not learn anything from Harper’s at bat. Most likely both Roberts and Ward are in their ear. These guys have been losing. So yeah, maybe some of them are pressing. They are pressing now because they do not want their ace to lose another game. When your hottest hitter, Grandal, just rolls over twice with men on base, you are not going to score much.
Joc has started tonight 0-2 with a strikeout. Not too good but then what do you expect from Joc. He isn’t much good.
No one gets that!
MJ, everyone knows Joc is not doing very good this year. Unfortunately he is not alone. When the top of your lineup struggles as much as Taylor and Seager have, you are not going to score much. Hernandez has been worthless. So there are plenty of guys to blame, but when your ace gives up 4 runs to a guy like Scherzer, it is not going to make much difference. Tonight Grandal has been a rally killer also. The whole teams RISP has sucked. You are just mad that Joc keeps getting chances. I have explained that to you more than once. Your evaluation of his hitting prowess means nothing to the powers that be. They think Joc is better than what the numbers have shown. Roberts has had nothing but praise for the quality of his at bats. Same thing with Puig. He is barely hitting over .200, but all you hear is praise from management. And I also read some quotes from Zaidi who said he does not think being blocked means reduced playing time….I thought that was weird. He is obviously talking about guys like Verdugo and Buehler. But one thing all of us need to realize is that this team is not the 2017 Dodgers. Oh yeah, some of the pieces are still here. But Turner’s absence has had the obvious effect. Add to that the slow starts by the top of the order, and some lack luster work by the new bullpen and it adds up to a sub .500 team. Kershaw is 1-2 because his team has not supported him. The guys who got them where they were last year are not all here now. Some new pieces have been less than impressive, Font, Alexander, a old reliable has become Gas Can Kenley. Forsythe hurt again, and again when they were counting on him. The surprise’s have been Grandal, Utley, Ryu, and Kemp. Bellinger got off to a rough start also and still has not gotten his power back. A lack of power up and down the lineup has hurt also. Maybe it will turn around, maybe it will not. One thing is for sure is they know CK is exercising his opt out after the season. That story ran on a couple of sites today.
Dodger Digest, Yardbarker…a couple other blogs and yahoo sports