Tag Archives: Washington Nationals

The Return of Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw Returns

Clayton Kershaw

The Dodgers welcomed back Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday night, just at the right time. In the midst of an extended road trip that included trips to Minnesota, Miami and Washington, the Dodgers find themselves in third place in a rejuvenated NL West. After a dominating season in 2013 that included a big margin of victory in the division over the second place Diamondbacks, the Dodgers find themselves fending off an improved San Francisco Giants team.

Kershaw pitched for the first time since the Dodgers kicked off the season Down Under in Australia. The two-time Cy Young winner dominated the Diamondbacks in Sydney and after six weeks off he showed the same form he had in late March. Kershaw tossed seven shutout innings, striking out nine and walking none, throwing just 89 pitches. The best Dodgers lefty since Fernando and Koufax returned just at the right time, to jump right into a division battle with the Giants.

San Francisco is off to a hot start with record of 21-12, currently the second best record in all of baseball. The Giants have won nine of their last eleven games. Their pattern of winning in every even numbered year is taking shape again. The Dodgers are currently 2.5 games behind the Giants and a big part of that advantage can be traced back to their success versus Los Angeles. The Giants have won four of six versus the Dodgers this season, taking two of three in the two series they’ve played.

CK Dodgers Pitcher

CLAYTON

After the Dodgers wrap up in Washington they’ll return home and jump right back into the rivalry as the Dodgers host the Giants in a four-game series. They’ll get a bit of a break since the Giants have put ace Matt Cain on the DL due to a cut on his ring finger. Josh Beckett and Paul Maholm will start the opening two games, with the Dodgers aces Zack Greinke and Kershaw starting games three and four. If Los Angeles can get off to a quick start and win one or two of the first two games they’ll be in position to win the series and start to build back momentum versus San Francisco. Maholm was due to move back to the bullpen when Kershaw returned, but the sudden injury to Ryu has kept the veteran lefty in the rotation for the time being. Beckett, coming off multiple injuries, doesn’t have a victory to show for it, but has pitched well this season. He currently sports a 3.14 ERA and has given up just 20 hits in 28 innings pitched while striking out 30. His solid secondary numbers, combined with the solid seasons that Haren is putting together, bodes well for the Dodgers near-term future.

Success versus San Francisco will require the Dodgers bats wake up a bit as well. While the offense has performed in spurts this season, they’ve also struggled at times. Adrian Gonzalez, Dee Gordon, Juan Urible and Yasiel Puig are having outstanding years and have carried the Dodgers offensively. Conversely, Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford have largely struggled. Ramirez, arguably the Dodgers best hitter, will come around. The bigger question marks surround Kemp and Crawford and whether or not they can regain their past All-Star form.

KERSHAW DODGERS

KERSHAW

Tuesday night the offense broke through at the right time with the top five in the lineup all collecting two hits. Hanley Ramirez homered and drove in two runs, with reserve catcher Drew Butera hitting a three-run home run. A win in the series finale on Wednesday would give the Dodgers a series victory, a 6-3 road trip, and real momentum for the upcoming home stand that starts with the Giants.

For Clayton Kershaw the quest for a third Cy Young starts again. He has his work cut out for him to catch up to the top contenders, including Zack Greinke, but with a near flawless first start back from injury he’s off to a good start.

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Friday Fireworks Night at Dodger Stadium Dodgers Vs Nationals

Preview: Nationals at Dodgers
GAME: Washington Nationals (14-5) at Los Angeles Dodgers (13-6)
DATE/TIME: Friday, April 27 – 10:10 PM EST
WHERE: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California

Washington had its five-game winning streak snapped by the San Diego Padres on Thursday, but the Nationals have still won six straight series to open the season. The Washington Nationals have received scoreless starts in eight of their 19 games, and they’ll need another strong outing when Ross Detwiler faces Clayton Kershaw</a> in Friday’s series opener against the Dodgers.

Los Angeles is off to a surprising 13-6 start, but there is some concern about closer Javy Guerra, who lost his second game in as many days on Wednesday. Guerra took a shot off his jaw in the ninth inning and gave up three runs on five straight singles, but he said he’ll be fine for this weekend’s series. Kenley Jansen appears ready to close, but manager Don Mattingly said he’s sticking with Guerra.

We have Dodgers Vs Nationals Tickets&lt in stock for tonight as well as the entire weekend.

April 27th – Friday Fireworks Night
April 28th – Don Drysdale and Maury Willis Bobblehead Night
April 29th – Kids Clayton Kershaw Replica Jersey Giveaway

PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals LH Ross Detwiler (2-0, 0.56 ERA) vs. Dodgers LH Clayton
Kershaw (1-0, 1.61 ERA)

Detwiler is filling in for the rehabbing Chien-Ming Wang, but he’s making a
strong case to remain in the rotation. He has 15 strikeouts in 16 innings, and
he tossed six scoreless innings last Friday against Miami. Detwiler was a first-round selection
(sixth overall) by Washington
in 2007.

Kershaw rebounded from a subpar outing with seven scoreless innings against the
Houston Astros last Saturday. He has 22 strikeouts and six walks over his first
22 1/3 innings, and he’s 2-2 with a 4.61 ERA in six games (five starts) against
the Nationals.

WALK-OFFS:
1. Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (shoulder) missed his fourth straight game Thursday and could be headed to the disabled list.
2. Matt Kemp is batting .449 with a .513 on-base percentage, .942 slugging percentage, 10 home runs, 23 RBIs, 19 runs and 31 hits in 19 games.
3. Dodgers left fielder Juan Rivera (hamstring) is listed as day-to-day, and the team is optimistic he’ll be able to avoid the disabled list.

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