Pirates @ Dodgers April 27, 2019: Kershaw looks to win series vs Pirates

The Dodgers got a strong outing out of Hyun-Jin Ryu last night, as he struck out 10 Pirates in seven innings and allowed a pair of runs in the Dodgers 6-2 victory. Today, they look for their third straight victory and have a chance to push the Pirates under .500.

Pirates
Dodgers
6:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
2B
Frazier
LF
Pederson
RF
Cabrera
SS
Seager
3B
Kang
3B
Turner
1B
Bell
RF
Bellinger
C
Cervelli
1B
Muncy
CF
Reynolds
CF
Verdugo
LF
Reyes 2B Taylor
SS
Tucker
C
Barnes
P
Musgrove (R)
P
Kershaw (L)

Clayton Kershaw gets his third start of the season, all of which coming against NL Central opponents. He’s allowed two runs and one homer in each game, a seven inning outing against Cincinnati and a six inning outing at Milwaukee. He allowed only two hits against the Brewers, but issued four walks after not walking a single batter in his first start.

Obviously a two-start sample size is small, but Kershaw has struck with his plan from last season. In 2018, Kershaw threw the lowest percent of fastballs and the highest percent of sliders of his career, at 41.8 percent and 41.3 percent, respectively. So far this season, he’s thrown his fastball 40.6 percent of the time and his slider 39.4 percent of the time. While his average fastball velocity is slightly down from 2018 (90 MPH instead of 90.8 MPH), the velocity difference between his fastball and slider has been greater so far.

Joe Musgrove gets his fifth start and sixth appearance overall this season. After throwing two perfect innings of relief in his first outing, Musgrove has been a very good starter for the Pirates. In his first two starts, Musgrove threw 13 1/3 innings and allowed two runs, both unearned. His last two starts have been slightly worse, allowing two runs in seven innings two starts ago, and allowing three runs in six innings in his last outing. Musgrove has struck out 26 batters and only issued six walks in 28 1/3 innings. He’s also only allowed one home run.

Baseball Savant lists Musgrove with a six-pitch mix. He throws a fastball most often, but also throws a slider, changeup and sinker more than 10 percent of the time. He also mixes in a cutter and a curveball. He’s not a big velocity guy, averaging 92.1 MPH on his fastball.

——

For the Dodgers, A.J. Pollock gets the day off with Alex Verdugo starting in center. Chris Taylor also starts in place of Enrique Hernandez. Gregory Polanco gets the day off for the Pirates. Francisco Cervelli, who was attached to the Dodgers many times this offseason, also starts after being out of the lineup yesterday.

——

Russell Martin is back.

Rocky Gale was sent back down to Triple-A after a not-great stint with the Dodgers.

——

Just a day off for Pollock, who has struggled since the opening series of the season. He’s reached base in each of his last six games, but has also struck out nine times in that span and more than once in each of his last three games.

——

Tonight’s game will also be broadcast on KTLA.

About Alex Campos

Alex Campos
I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.