May 20, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (right) is congratulated by catcher A.J. Ellis after pitching a complete game to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 3-1 at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

With an Ace Up Their Sleeve, the Dodgers Would Love to Take Series Versus Cardinals

Clayton Kershaw (5-2, 1.35) vs. Shelby Miller (5-3, 1.74)

Dodgers Lineup:

Crawford 7
M.Ellis 4
Gonzalez 3
Ethier 9
A.J. Ellis 2
Schumaker 8
Uribe 5
Gordon 6
Kershaw 1

The Dodger offense, fueled mostly by Adrian Gonzalez, scored five times on 10 hits versus St. Louis in the win Saturday night. The series is now tied, and Sunday will feature a marquee pitching matchup between Clayton Kershaw and Shelby Miller. Even without the production from either Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier, it was Nick Punto, Mark Ellis, and Carl Crawford were able to get on base before Gonzalez. Gonzo has really been carrying this team, and without his All-Star worthy performance in the first quarter of the season, the Dodgers would be even further buried in the standings. Even so, without a healthy Matt Kemp, it will be impossible for the Dodgers to truly be competitive.

 

Matt Kemp looks on after being pulled out of the game by Donnie. Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Kemp left angry after Don Mattingly double switched him out in the top of the seventh inning of game two. Kemp was seen muttering obscenities and storming into the clubhouse after he was pulled. Perhaps Donnie took him out because he is struggling or maybe because he is due for a much deserved day off. Most likely it is as simple as Donnie switching out the last batter who had just batted in the inning before. Yet bringing Skip Schumaker to play center field is not exactly an improvement defensively or offensively over Kemp.

The Dodgers would absolutely love to win Sunday’s matinee against the Red Birds. A win could even possibly extend Donnie’s tenure. A win would most definitely bring hope to the players as well. Losing takes its toll. Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp feed off of each other. When one is hitting hot, the other tends to do the same with the momentum. It’s no surprise that both of them are hitting around the same batting average. Andre Ethier does have two more homeruns than Kemp.

Clayton Kershaw is the Dodgers golden boy. In what could be another Cy Young Award season, Kershaw is sporting a miniscule 1.35 ERA this season. Last time out against Milwaukee, Kershaw was dominant and only allowed three hits. The complete game saw him go all nine while only allowing 1 run, striking out 5, and walking one. His season high was 12 strikeouts back on April 28th which was also against Milwaukee. In his career against St. Louis, the southpaw is 4-3 with a 3.67 ERA. He’ll have to watch out for Allen Craig who has gone deep against Kershaw in the past.

Shelby Miller has the same amount of wins as Kershaw with five, and his ERA is just a little bit higher. The right-hander lost his last time out against San Diego when

Shelby Miller picked up his first career win against the Dodgers last September. Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

he pitched. 5 2/3 innings and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits, 5 strikeouts, and 3 walks. Miller has only pitched one inning against the Dodgers last September 16.  He did pick up his first career win and a strikeout.

Jerry Hairston Jr. will be activated for Sunday’s game. Mattingly has said he will mostly play in the infield. Which means Scott Van Slyke will likely be optioned back to Albuquerque. Of course the Dodgers could make the right move by designating Luis Cruz for assignment. He may be hitting the DL due to bone spurs.

Four straight left-handed starters. Hyun-jin Ryu, Chris Capuano, Ted Lilly, and Clayton Kershaw will all have started consecutively. Can Kershaw give the Dodgers a much-needed series win against the first place Cardinals? He’s our best hope at a win, Dodger fans. Perhaps they can gain some momentum before the Angels come to Dodger Stadium.

Game time will begin at 1:10 p.m. on Prime Ticket.

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Tags: Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers Shelby Miller St. Louis Cardinals