Dodgers @ Padres May 6, 2017: Battle of the Claytons

(Via)

Hey, guys, check this out — both starting pitchers in today’s match between the Dodgers and Padres are named Clayton! How’s that for fun? Clayton Kershaw (2.61 ERA, 3.01 FIP, 0.871 WHIP) will battle Clayton Richard (4.29 ERA, 4.58 FIP, 1.486 WHIP) for … I dunno, ultimate Clayton supremacy or something.

Dodgers
Padres
5:40 p.m.
San Diego
2B
Taylor
CF
Margot
SS
Seager
3B
Spangenberg
3B
Turner
1B
Myers
LF
Gutiérrez
2B
Solarte
1B
Bellinger
C
Hedges
CF
Hernández
RF
Renfroe
RF
Puig LF Blash
Barnes
SS
Sardiñas
P
Kershaw (L)
P
Richard (L)

We’ve been a bit worried about Clayton Kershaw around these parts. That may seem like a silly thing to say about a pitcher with a 2.61 ERA through six starts, but it is Clayton Kershaw we’re talking about, after all. As Chad wrote about on Tuesday, Kershaw’s having some issues with his slider. Essentially, he’s throwing it harder than in seasons past, but isn’t getting as much movement on it, and as a result it’s been less effective. That’s something to keep an eye on tonight.

In any event, this will be Kershaw’s second time facing the Padres this year, the first time being Opening Day at Dodger Stadium. In that game, he pitched seven innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits while striking out eight.

It will also be Clayton Richard’s second time facing the Dodgers this year. In the second game of the season, Richard pitched eight scoreless innings, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out five. The Dodgers lost that game, 1-0. Richard has mostly struggled since then, allowing 18 runs (17 earned) across 27.1 IP in his subsequent five starts.

Richard will see a lineup consisting of mostly righties, with the exceptions of Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger (and Kershaw). Joc Pederson may have been reinstated from the DL yesterday, but he’s already being given the night off against a lefty, with Enrique Hernández getting the start in center field instead. Franklin Gutiérrez, another recent DL returnee, is in left field and batting cleanup. It’s his second start since being reinstated on Tuesday, when he went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run. He’s since made two pinch hit appearances, and recorded base hits in both.

About Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler is a native Angeleno and longtime Dodger fan. She began blogging about baseball in 2012 on her Tumblr, New Grass On The Field, where she covered an array of topics but especially enjoyed exploring baseball history. She now writes for The Hardball Times, FanGraphs and Sporting News, and co-hosts a podcast, The Hardball Times Audio. She recently earned her master’s degree in Sports Management from Cal State Long Beach. She graduated from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor’s in History and a minor in American Studies. She’s an avid Springsteen fan, which is a big boost to her baseball writer cred.