Diamondbacks @ Dodgers September 19, 2022: Dodgers return home with Kershaw on the hill

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers had a decently successful road trip, going 7-2 against the Padres, Diamondbacks and Giants to improve their record to 101-44 and become the first team to clinch a playoff berth (and division title). Both of the losses on the road trip came in extra innings, but they conquered the extra-inning demons with a win in the finale in San Francisco last night.

Tonight, the Dodgers begin a weird ass five-games-in-four-days series against Arizona, with a scheduled double-header tomorrow. After dropping two of three to the Dodgers in Arizona last week, the Diamondbacks hosted the Padres and got swept and outscored 20-4.

Image Image
7:10 PM Los Angeles
DH Garrett RF Betts
2B Marte (S) SS T. Turner
LF McCarthy (L) 1B Freeman (L)
1B Walker C Smith
3B Rivera 3B Muncy (L)
C C. Kelly LF Gallo (L)
RF Luplow 2B Lux (L)
CF Varsho (L) DH Taylor
SS Perdomo (S)( CF Bellinger (L)
P M. Kelly (R) P Kershaw (L)

Tonight features a rematch of the pitching matchup from last Tuesday, with Clayton Kershaw taking the mound for the Dodgers. Kershaw absolutely shoved in Arizona, as he allowed a walk and two singles over seven innings. His game score was 77, which was his third-highest mark of the season. He lowered his ERA on the season to 2.44, which would be his lowest non-Covid-season ERA since 2017 and is the 10th-lowest ERA in baseball this season among pitchers with 100 or more innings pitched. It was Kershaw’s third start off the IL and he only needed 82 pitches to complete seven innings, which was fewer pitches than he threw in his second start back. In three starts/18 innings since his return, Kershaw’s allowed three runs and eight hits while striking out 19.

Opposing Kershaw is Merrill Kelly, who took the loss last Tuesday. Kelly has been pretty good this season, as the Dodgers pushed his ERA over 3.00 for the first time since July 31. He allowed five hits and struck out eight in five innings, but also allowed three runs and issued a season-high five walks. Two of the hits Kelly allowed left the park, off the bats of Joey Gallo and Freddie Freeman. Kelly has obviously seen NL West teams the most this season, and has mostly had success. He has a 5-0 record in 10 starts against the Padres, Giants and Rockies and holds ERA’s of 2.65, 1.27 and 1.59 against them, respectively. The Dodgers are responsible for four of Kelly’s six losses on the season, and he holds an 8.50 ERA in 18 innings against them. Most of that damage came on the night game of a May 17 doubleheader, where Kelly allowed eight runs in two innings.

Kelly mainly throws five different pitch types. He’s thrown a four-seamer 29.8 percent of the time, changeup 21.9 percent of the time (to both righties and lefties), sinker 17.7 percent of the time, cutter 17.1 percent of the time and a curve 13.3 percent of the time. Baseball Savant also has him tracked with five sliders thrown this season, but he hasn’t thrown a slider in any of the previous three seasons.

Chris Taylor serves as the DH tonight, with Gallo starting in left and Gavin Lux at second.


A couple pitchers threw live BP today.

Both Blake Treinen and Brusdar Graterol threw about 20 pitches today.


Pitching probables for the rest of the series

Tyler Anderson will be activated from the paternity list to start the night game tomorrow, with Michael Grove starting the early game. Dustin May and Madison Bumgarner will square off on Wednesday, and Julio Urias and Zac Gallen will have an ace-off on Thursday.


I don’t have time to write about any pregame media scrum updates, so just pretend I did that. Also if any lineup changes happen between now and this posting, act like I wrote about it.


First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PT and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.

About 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.