D-backs @ Dodgers May 19, 2021: It’s Kershaw Day vs. Peacock

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Winners in the first two games of the four-game set, the Dodgers (24-18) will look to lock up the series victory over the D-backs (18-25) with Clayton Kershaw on the mound.

Since dropping four straight games between May 4 and 7, the Dodgers have won 7 of 9 (since Mookie Betts sacrificed his nuts) while allowing two or less runs in five of the games. That includes just five runs in the past four games, with the D-backs scoring just once the past two nights.

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Before we get to tonight’s lineups, congratulations to the Dodgers on reaching this achievement already.

Somewhat related, I can not believe we are already 18 games off of finishing last year’s “regular season.”

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7:10 p.m. Los Angeles
1B Smith (L) CF Betts
CF Locastro 1B Muncy (L)
RF Rojas (L) 3B Turner
3B Escobar (S) LF Tsutsugo (L)
2B Young 2B Taylor
LF Peralta (L) SS Lux (L)
SS Ahmed RF Beaty (L)
C Vogt (L) C Barnes
P Peacock P Kershaw (L)

One day after becoming the 39th player used this season, Yoshi Tsutsugo makes it five different cleanup hitters in five days following Max Muncy, Matt Beaty, Will Smith and Albert Pujols.

They will be facing 27-year-old Matt Peacock, who has 9 major league appearances in his career (all coming this year) after making his debut back on April 6. He’s started once this year, last week against the Marlins, and threw 64 pitches in 5 innings. Every other outing has been 34 pitches or less and typically one or two innings. He did earn the win back on his debut, throwing the 11th, 12th and 13th in Colorado against the Rockies.

Naturally, I know very little about him so that’s about all I can offer up for tonight.

Meanwhile the Diamondbacks, who have suffered through quite a few injuries themselves, got a little healthier heading into tonight.

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One small thing to keep an eye on in Clayton’s start tonight is this:

More than likely it is nothing, but it will just be interesting to see how he rebounds with it after allowing 5 runs to the Marlins in 6 innings of work. Now he struck out 11 and three of those runs came on a homer by Adam Duvall, but it will still be something to watch tonight.

Clayton FB Velo

With 57 strikeouts in his 50 2/3 innings this season, Kershaw is just outside of the league’s top 10. Unsurprisingly, 45 of those have come on his slider which still ranks among the league’s best. With his four-seam fastball usage down to 36.4% this season, he’s also up to a career-high 46.8% usage with the slider. While he came close in 2018 and 2020, this would be the first season Clayton used a pitch other than his fastball the most through a full season.

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First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. PT on SportsNet LA or if you are in Arizona like I am, Bally Sports Arizona, where you can listen to that tremendous duo.

About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree. He now works for the university’s athletics department after spending seven years with the local newspaper.