Kershaw, Dodgers look to complete sweep of D-backs

The Dodgers have won nine consecutive home games after they rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. The Dodgers had just one hit before a ninth-inning homer from Mookie Betts tied it, and they scored two runs in the 10th to prevail. So while pitchers such as the Atlanta Braves’ Max Fried, the Chicago Cubs’ Yu Darvish, the Cincinnati Reds’ Trevor…

Clayton Kershaw is making progress, but he isn’t near the top of the list when

it comes to National League Cy Young Award favorites, although another month

with the kind of pitching he has shown in the shortened 2020 season could

change that.

Kershaw (4-1, 1.80 ERA) will have another chance to display his progress whenthe Los Angeles Dodgers wrap up a three-game series against the visitingArizona Diamondbacks on Thursday.

The Dodgers have won nine consecutive home games after they rallied for a 3-2victory over the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. The Dodgers had just one hitbefore a ninth-inning homer from Mookie Betts tied it, and they scored tworuns in the 10th to prevail.

After missing the first 10 days of the season with a back issue that cost himan Opening Day appearance, Kershaw has appeared to turn back the clock at age32. His fastball has a bit more life to it after years of gradual decline, andhis edge is as sharp as ever.

So while pitchers such as the Atlanta Braves’ Max Fried, the Chicago Cubs’ YuDarvish, the Cincinnati Reds’ Trevor Bauer, the New York Mets’ Jacob deGromand the Philadelphia Phillies’ Aaron Nola sit atop the list of NL Cy Youngfavorites, Kershaw has been making his move on the lead pack.

In four of his five starts, the left-hander has given up one run or none. Hehas two scoreless outings, including one in his last start, against the SanFrancisco Giants on Aug. 27, when he yielded four hits and no walks in sixinnings with a season-low four strikeouts. In typical Kershaw fashion, he wasnot satisfied.

“(It) was a little bit of a grind,” Kershaw said. “Just the way the ball wascoming out wasn’t as good as it was the last few starts.”

Kershaw’s other scoreless outing came in his season debut on Aug. 2 againstthe Diamondbacks.

The future Hall of Famer is 17-10 in 34 career starts against Arizona with 234strikeouts in 211 1/3 innings. The Diamondbacks have tagged him for 22 careerhome runs, with the Colorado Rockies (27) the only team to hit more againsthim.

The Diamondbacks will counter with right-hander Luke Weaver (1-5, 8.23 ERA)against the team with the best record in baseball at 28-10. Arizona is 14-23,in last place in the NL West, and has lost 12 of its last 13 games.

Weaver will try to replicate what teammate Zac Gallen did against the Dodgerson Wednesday when Gallen gave up one hit in seven scoreless innings.

The Dodgers’ lineup might be down one power hitter Thursday. Cody Bellingerhas missed the past two games with a sore muscle behind his right shoulder.

Weaver is 1-1 with a 9.69 ERA lifetime against the Dodgers in four appearances(two starts). He struggled against Los Angeles in an Aug. 1 start, giving upsix runs on seven hits and three walks over four-plus innings.

Weaver surrendered four runs on eight hits in just three innings Saturdayduring a loss to the Giants. He got ahead in counts but couldn’t put awaybatters.

“You know the easier part should just be to throw a good quality pitch, butthat gets tough sometimes,” Weaver said. “Guys get in protective mode, andit’s hard to throw a good pitch there. Ultimately, it’s just not good enough.When you’re in attack mode like that, you can’t let off the gas.”

–Field Level Media

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