Dodgers @ Braves July 27, 2018: Kershaw vs. Foltynewicz

(Via)

The Dodgers (57-46) snapped their mini two-game skid on Thursday with a 8-2 win over the Braves (54-45). Clayton Kershaw looks for some better defense behind him this time in the second game of four at SunTrust Park.

Dodgers
Braves
4:35 PM
Atlanta
LF
Pederson
LF
Acuna
3B
Machado
2B
Albies
2B
Muncy
1B
Freeman
C
Grandal
RF
Markakis
RF
Kemp
C
Suzuki
1B
Bellinger
3B
Camargo
SS
Taylor CF Inciarte
CF Verdugo
SS
Swanson
P
Kershaw
(L)
P
Foltynewicz
(R)

The last time Kershaw (3-5, 2.64 ERA, 3.22 FIP) was on the mound in Milwaukee to start his second half to the season, things turned into an absolute disaster defensively and on the base paths for the Dodgers. Max Muncy made like 30 errors, and the offense went 3-for-11 with RISP and stranded nine men on base. Kersh still hasn’t found consistency this season, and his fastball doesn’t have the same zip to it as years prior. In 2015 he led the NL with 11.6 K/9, but this year he’s striking out the opposition at a rate of 9.1 K/9.

Rich Hill put in a gem of a start on Thursday, and the Dodgers will need the old Kershaw to find a rhythm as well in this latter part of the season as they go for their sixth consecutive NL West division title. Kershaw may never be quite as dominant as he once was again – and that pains me to even write – but that doesn’t mean he can’t be effective.

This will be Kershaw’s first career start at SunTrust Park. Overall, in his career, he’s pitched very well against the Braves. He’s never lost a game to Atlanta and is 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA against them in nine starts with 70 strikeouts in 61 1/3 innings. His numbers are good against Atlanta, but this is a very much improved Braves club this season.

Mike Foltynewicz (7-6, 2.85 ERA, 3.38 FIP) does have a rare complete game shutout this season against the Nationals, a pitching feat that has become all but extinct. Complete games for starting pitchers may be a rarity nowadays, but Kersh has yet to pitch more than six innings in a game since April. Foltynewicz flirted with a no-hitter, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out 11 in the dominant performance. Ironically, in his last start against the same Nats team, he allowed four runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. That’s baseball for you.

His strong first half earned him his first All-Star nod. Foltynewicz faced Manny Machado in the All-Star Game and induced a pop-up from the soon-to-be Dodger. He’s only made one career start against the Dodgers, and it was around this time last July at Dodger Stadium. He allowed three runs on six hits with five strikeouts and two walks in 6 1/3 innings, earning him the win. Yasmani Grandal, who’s on one of his hot streaks this month, hit a home run against him in the game. Shameless plug alert: I wrote about Grandal’s hot July over on TBLA today.

——

The Braves announced a trade following the game yesterday, bringing back left-hander Jonny Venters to the club. He was a key part of the Atlanta bullpen before persistent elbow problems leading to three elbow surgeries. He hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 before the Tampa Bay Rays called him up this season.

Speaking of trades, I’m just going to leave this one here.

I mean, of course they’ve checked in on him but yeah not going to happen. The Nationals are an even .500 on the season (51-51) and 4 1/2 games back of the Phillies and Braves in the NL East.

There’s also an update on Julio Urias.

Finally, Yasiel Puig returns tomorrow.

——

Dave Roberts goes with the same lineup that scored eight runs in the series opener. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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.