Dodgers @ D-backs June 24, 2019: Kershaw vs. Greinke

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

What a wonderful walk-off weekend it was. The Dodgers (54-25) swept the Rockies (40-37) and became the first team to accomplish three straight rookie walk-off wins. Now the team with the best record in baseball looks to capture their seventh consecutive win as they finish off the month of June with a seven-game road trip. Their first stop is Arizona where they’ll face old friend Zack Greinke.

D-backs
Dodgers
6:40 p.m.
Arizona
RF
Jones
1B
Pederson
2B
Marte
CF
Verdugo
3B
Escobar
3B
Turner
LF
Peralta
RF
Bellinger
1B
Walker
2B
Muncy
SS
Ahmed
SS
Taylor
C
Kelly LF Hernandez
CF
Locastro
C
Barnes
P
Greinke (R)
P
Kershaw (L)

The rookies have been launching the headlines of late, but two veteran pitchers will be the focus of Monday’s series opener in Phoenix. Clayton Kershaw (7-1, 2.85 ERA, 3.51 FIP) is pitching on an extra day of rest. Last time out, he hurled seven innings of shutout ball while striking out six and walking two on 100 pitches in the 9-0 drubbing of the Giants (33-43) on the five-year anniversary of his no-hitter.

This will be Kershaw’s first start vs. the D-backs this season. Overall, in his career, Kersh is 16-9 with a 2.59 ERA and 1.063 WHIP in 31 starts against the Snakes. He’s 6-8 with a 3.70 ERA, 1.202 WHIP and 10 home runs allowed in 15 starts at Chase Field. Ketel Marte and Christian Walker have both hit two home runs each vs. Kershaw.

There’s been a lot of chatter about the decrease in Kershaw’s fastball velocity and his uptick in home runs allowed, but the Dodgers are still winning behind the veteran southpaw. They’re 11-1 in Kershaw starts this season. Instead of dwelling on what Kershaw used to be, it’s best to focus on what Kershaw is now. When his slider is sharp, he’s still one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. A seventh straight NL West title looks inevitable, but the Dodgers will need Kershaw in their quest for that elusive World Series win.

Greinke (8-3, 2.91, 3.45 FIP) makes his second career start against his former teammate Kershaw. He faced the Dodgers on Opening Day and allowed four homers to Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez, Austin Barnes and Corey Seager in the 12-5 Dodger win.

Overall, Greinke is 7-6 with a 4.28 ERA and 1.334 WHIP and 18 homers in 16 starts against the Dodgers. Cody Bellinger is 10-for-25 (.400) with two doubles and three home runs vs. the quirky right-hander.

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Ron Cervenka of Think Blue LA learned from a source that the Dodgers will call up 25-year-old right-hander Tony Gonsolin from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Gonsolin went 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA, 10.7 K/9, 4.5 BB/9 in eight starts (26 innings) with the OKC Dodgers this year. He could slot into the rotation spot vacated by Rich Hill who is on the 10-day injured list with a left forearm strain. Ross Stripling will also get a shot at the rotation.

It’s good to hear that the Dodgers will be extending the netting to protect fans at Dodger Stadium. A young fan was injured by a Bellinger foul ball on Sunday.

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All the walk-offs have been exciting, but a good old-fashioned dong parade behind a Kershaw shutout would be fine by me.

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.