Dodgers @ Giants September 12, 2017: Kershaw looks to halt epic nose-dive

If you stayed up to watch the Dodgers (92-52) drop their eleventh straight game, a rain-delayed match ending after 2 AM PT on Tuesday morning against the Giants (57-89), you’re the real hero. With 18 games remaining in the regular season, time is running out to right the ship. They’ll have Clayton Kershaw on the mound in the second game of the series at AT&T Park, but even L.A.’s formidable ace hasn’t been able to stop the bleeding during this record 11-game losing streak.

Dodgers
Giants
7:15 PM PT
San Francisco
CF
Taylor
CF
Hernandez
SS
Seager
2B
Panik
3B
Turner
RF
Pence
CF
Bellinger
1B
Posey
RF
Puig
C
Hundley
LF
Granderson
LF
Slater
C
Grandal 3B Calixte
2B
Utley
SS
Tomlinson
P
Kershaw (L)
P
Cueto (R)

Kershaw (16-3, 2.15 ERA, 2.91 FIP) makes his third start since returning from the disabled list with a lower back strain. Last time out against the Rockies, Kersh only made it through 3 2/3 innings and allowed four runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and three walks on 86 pitches in the 9-1 Dodgers loss.

The good news is that Kershaw has been historically dominant over the rival Giants in his career. He’s 20-9 with a 1.62 ERA in 39 games (38 starts) against San Francisco. The superb lefty is five strikeouts away from collecting 300 strikeouts against the Giants in his career (283 1/3 innings). He’s also been very successful in his career at AT&T Park, going 12-4 with a 1.29 ERA in 20 games. This season, he’s 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA against the orange and black in three starts.

Johnny Cueto (7-7, 4.43 ERA, 4.60 FIP) toes the rubber for ‘Frisco, seeking the series win. Cueto also missed time this season (45 games) with a right flexor strain. Like Kershaw, Cueto’s last start was against the Rockies. He allowed one run on five hits with seven strikeouts and one walk in five innings of work, picking up his first win since June 30.

Cueto is 1-1 with a 5.21 ERA in three starts against the Dodgers this year. Overall, the rocking right-hander is 6-7 with a 3.21 ERA in 16 career starts. Chase Utley is hitting over .300 against Cueto with 14 hits in 46 at-bats including two home runs. Curtis Granderson has hit three home runs against Cueto in the past as well. Both Utley and Granderson are in Dave Roberts‘ starting lineup Tuesday.

——

With a Dodgers win tonight and a Brewers or Cubs loss, L.A. can clinch a postseason berth.

Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal wrote about the Dodgers’ epic losing streak and its place in MLB history.

“Only two teams ever to qualify for baseball’s postseason have suffered a losing streak of 11 games at any point: the 1982 Atlanta Braves and the 1951 New York Giants. No playoff team has ever lost 12 straight.”

How bad has September been for the Dodgers? It’s been a team-wide slide.

  • Starting pitchers have a combined 5.21 ERA/4.43 FIP
  • Relief pitchers have a combined 7.08 ERA/4.78 FIP
  • Team offensive line: .209/.277/.334
  • Kershaw is 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA in two games (9 2/3 innings)
  • Yasmani Grandal has one hit in September, a home run, and is hitting .038/.188/.154 in nine games
  • Cody Bellinger is hitting .233/.283/.488 with two home runs in 11 games
  • Curtis Granderson has three hits and is hitting .097/.200/.097 in 11 games

The Dodgers also announced their preliminary 2018 schedule on Tuesday. Opening Day is on Thursday, March 29, 2018 at Dodger Stadium. They’ll also close out the season against the Giants with a three-game series in San Francisco September 28-30, 2018.

Reminder: the game will be televised on KTLA as well as SNLA. Things are bad right now, but at least everyone can watch Kershaw tonight.

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the Co-Editor of Lasorda’s Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation and Dodger Blue 1958. She currently contributes to The Hardball Times. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.