The Dodgers stagnant season continues as the boys in blue must once again turn to Clayton Kershaw to stop a losing streak. The Dodgers had won six in a row before they punted away Friday’s game by starting random bum Nick Tepesch, who was predictably horrendous in the Dodger’s 8-6 loss. Then the Dodgers blew Saturday’s game by rolling out the all righty loser lineup with the execrable Kike Hernandez (.189) batting lead-off. Unsurprisingly that led to another loss. Now the Dodgers must win the final two games of the series just to split.
The Pirates aren’t very good this year either. Their pitching has been dreadful and their ace Gerrit Cole is injured. McCutchen has had a poor season at the plate (Saturday’s two home runs not withstanding) and that’s a big reason why the Bucs are in third place in the NL Central with a 36-39 record. They’ve lost 7 of their last 10 games. The Dodgers on the other hand are 41-35 and sit in second place in the NL West 7 games behind the Giants. The Dodgers are 18-20 on the road.
Dodgers Lineup @ Pittsburgh
Van Slyke 1B
Clayton Kershaw-11-1 vs. Chad Kuhl-0-0
Game Time – 5:10 PM TV-ESPN
So they’ll give the ball to Kershaw who is looking to win his tenth consecutive decision tonight on Sunday night baseball. The ace lefty tossed seven innings of one-run ball against Washington in his last start. He only struck out 8 so it was kind of an off night for him. Anytime Kershaw allows more than one earned run or strikes out less than 10 in a start we wonder what is wrong with him. He’s that good. Overall Kershaw is 11-1 with a 1.57 ERA. He’s now struck out 141 and walked 7. He has a 20-1 strikeout to walk ratio which is the best in the majors. Kershaw has made 10 career starts against the Pirates and has posted a 2-2 record with a 2.90 ERA. He’s 1-0 with a 3.63 ERA in 6 career starts at PNC Park.
The strange sight is seeing the numbers the current Bucs have put up against Kershaw. The Pirates are hitting .310 (36 for 116) against Kershaw with 3 home runs. David Freese is batting .346 (9 for 26) and Andrew McCutchen is hitting .375 (9 for 24). I have no idea how this has happened, but the Pirates have made Kershaw walk the plank before. Can Kershaw sail the seas of PNC?
Kershaw vs. Pirates
|Jung Ho Kang||3||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.333||.333||.333||.667||0||0||0||0||0|
The Pirates will be countering with prospect Chad Kuhl. The 23-year old right hander from Bear, Delaware and will be making his MLB debut tonight on Sunday night Baseball. Kuhl was drafted by the Pirates in the ninth round of the 2013 amateur draft. Kuhl was pitching for the Pirate’s triple-A affiliate (Indianapolis Indians of the Independent league) where he made 14 starts and posted a 6-2 record with a 2.58 ERA and posted a 1.187 WHIP in 76.2 innings pitched. According to the scouting reports Kuhl is mostly a fastball/sinker guy who mixes in a slider and a change. He’s supposedly a grounder machine. He shouldn’t have many problems since hitting weak grounders is the Dodger’s specialty.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 26, 2016
The Dodgers have to make better baseball decisions. Starting Tepesch and using the all righty lineup again killed their momentum. They have very little chance to catch the Giants if they keep making such terrible moves. The management has to get better and no big acquisition (Jay Bruce) is going to make much of a difference without using much needed common sense. Enjoy the game everyone!