What a difference a day makes. After a rousing 8-2 win on Monday night, the Dodgers were pathetically shutout 3-0 as the Yankees evened the series. Julio Urias pitched well, but couldn’t keep his pitch count down. The deciding blows in the game were two pinch-hit home runs from Jacoby Ellsbury and Didi Gregorius in the bottom of the eighth inning off of Ross Stripling.
Unsurprisingly the Dodgers did nothing offensively against veteran C.C. Sabathia. That’s what happens when you put automatic outs in the lineup like Kike Hernandez, and Carlos Ruiz, who should both never start over Yasmani Grandal and Joc Pederson during a playoff race.
Now the Dodgers will go for a series win behind Clayton Kershaw in the rubber game before departing for Arizona to finish the road trip. The Yankees will give the ball to right hander Michael Pineda. Kershaw is making just his second start since coming off the disabled list because of a herniated disc.
Dodgers Lineup @ New York
Clayton Kershaw-11-3 vs. Michael Pineda-6-11
Game time – 1:10 PM – TV-SNLA
Kershaw lasted just three innings in his first start back from the DL against the Marlins last week. He wasn’t terrible, but seemed rusty. Hopefully he’s on his A-game today against the Bronx bombers. Kershaw is 11-3 this season with a 1.89 ERA. He has 150 strikeouts and just 9 walks. Those numbers seem unreal, but not when you remember that this is Clayton Kershaw. He makes the impossible possible. Kershaw has made 2 career starts against the Yankees and has a 1.20 ERA and no record. Kersh is 12-4 with a 2.28 ERA in 27 career interleague starts. The current Yankees have not hit Kershaw a lick, posting a .474 OPS against and 18 hits in 110 plate appearances.
Kershaw vs. Yankees
As for the 27-year old Dominican native Pineda, he is having a down year. He’s given up a ton of hits and home runs, but is still striking out over 10 batters per nine innings. Pineda has a 6-11 record with a 5.07 ERA. In 27 starts he’s struck out 179 and walked 44 while allowing 24 home runs in 156.1 innings pitched. Pineda has won just one decision since August 5. He’s also gone into the seventh inning twice all season. Pineda has never faced the Dodgers but is 6-3 with a 2.98 ERA in 10 career interleague starts.
Pineda vs. Dodgers
The magic number is now 15 with 18 games left to play thanks to the Giants choking away another lead in their loss last night against the Padres. The Dodgers are lucky that the lead remains at 4 games. The Dodgers best stop playing .198 hitting backups during September games. Five hits and 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position certainly aren’t going to cut it. The regulars need to be playing every day until the division is clinched from here on out. No excuses.