Pirates @ Dodgers July 3, 2018: Hope they saved some run support for Kershaw

(Via)

The Pirates (40-44) were completely overmatched against the Dodgers (45-39) in the series opener on Monday night. Their 21-hit parade really took things back to 17…76. The offensive onslaught by LA had more fireworks than any game this season for the Dodgers, but here’s hoping they saved some runs for the rest of the star-spangled series.

Pirates
Dodgers
7:10 PM
Los Angeles
CF
Meadows
LF
Pederson
2B
Harrison
2B
Muncy
RF
Polanco
3B
Turner
C
Diaz
1B
Bellinger
3B
Freese
RF
Kemp
1B
Bell
C
Grandal
LF
Dickerson SS Taylor
SS
Mercer
CF
Hernandez
P
Nova (R)
P
Kershaw (L)

The Dodgers will try to take advantage of a semi-scuffling Arizona team who have lost four straight. A Dodger victory and a D-backs loss tonight would move LA within a 1/2 game of first place in the NL West. Arizona plays the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

The Boys in Red, White, and Blue will have their ace Clayton Kershaw (1-4, 2.84 ERA, 3.13) on the mound in the second game of three. He looks to build upon a solid five-inning start his last time out against the Cubs at Wrigley Field when he allowed one run on four hits and struck out six on 68 pitches in a no-decision. Kershaw’s yet to pitch more than six innings since April, but he’ll be on regular rest for this one. The plan is for him to go 6 innings and 90 pitches.

Overall against the Bucs, Kershaw is 2-3 with a 3.18 ERA in 11 career starts. He’s struck out 69 (nice) Pirates in 68 innings of work. David Freese is hitting .345 vs. Kersh with 10 hits in 29 at-bats including four doubles. Gregory Polanco is 3-for-9 against Kershaw with a home run.

Right-hander Ivan Nova (4-5, 4.02 ERA, 3.96 FIP) will try to right the Pirate ship for Pittsburgh. Like Kershaw, Nova has been on the disabled list this season (sprained ring finger on his throwing hand). Since returning from the DL on June 10, Nova’s only allowed five runs in four starts with 21 strikeouts and five walks in 25 2/3 innings.

The veteran is 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA against the Dodgers in two career starts. Both starts were at Dodger Stadium. Logan Forsythe and Yasmani Grandal have both taken Nova deep in the past. Chase Utley is 3-for-4 against him with a double, and Joc Pederson has three hits including two doubles against him in five at-bats. Forsythe isn’t in the lineup (he hasn’t got a start since June 29). Yasiel Puig also sits out. Pederson will play in left field tonight, and Matt Kemp will move to right. Enrique Hernandez will start in center field, batting eighth.

The Dodgers now lead the National League with 116 home runs and a .432 slugging percentage. They have nine more homers than the Milwaukee Brewers, who are second in the league. While they’re about mid-pack in batting average (.244), they have the second-best OPS (.756) and the fourth-best OBP (.324). Only the Indians (118), Red Sox (121) and Yankees (138) have more home runs than the Dodgers this year in the majors.

The Dodgers have given Kershaw 21 runs of support in 10 starts. His 3.32 runs per 9 innings of support is the lowest among Dodger starters with at least 50 innings pitched this year. Walker Buehler has had an average of 6.14 runs of support per 9, and league leader Jon Lester gets 7.29 runs per 9. Speaking of Buehler, we’ll keep our eyes on Rancho Cucamonga tonight where he’ll pitch three innings in a rehab start to work back up.

Kershaw inevitably has to help his own cause. Kershaw and Buehler lead the team’s pitching staff with three base hits apiece. Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dennis Santana are the only Dodger pitchers with an extra-base hit on the year, a double each.

——

There will be more Dodger baseball on your TV starting this August.

The weather is heating up and so are the trade rumors.

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Another 17 runs, please.

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, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. 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.