MLB

Sat, Jun 15, 2013 - 4:05 PM ET
 

Dodgers-Pirates Preview

Share This Story

   
 

As good as Clayton Kershaw was in his last outing, he has now gone nearly a month without winning and still doesn't feel real comfortable.

The Los Angeles Dodgers ace hopes to avoid his longest winless drought in 3 1/2 years and continue his recent domination of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday at PNC Park.

Kershaw (5-4, 1.88 ERA) is 0-2 with a 3.33 ERA in four starts since throwing a three-hitter to beat Milwaukee 3-1 on May 20. He hasn't endured a longer stretch without winning since going 0-3 in his final 11 starts of the 2009 season.

The former Cy Young Award winner was in line for a victory Monday after allowing one run and six hits over seven innings, but then-closer Brandon League yielded four runs in the ninth of a 5-4 loss to Arizona.

Though Kershaw's line was solid, he again didn't seem to be at his best.

"It was a battle out there," he said. "I didn't have great fastball command. I was 1-0, 2-0 basically the whole night. ... I'm glad I made it through seven."

Manager Don Mattingly pulled Kershaw after 99 pitches, his fewest since April 6.

"When he's really feeling good, he's kind of giving you that `I got it. I got it. I got it,'" said Mattingly, who returns after a one-game suspension for his role in Wednesday's two bench-clearing incidents with Arizona.

"He's just aggressive about it, and as soon as you start walking toward him, he's letting you know (he wants to continue). But (Monday) it wasn't like that."

Kershaw's teammates haven't offered much support, averaging 3.0 runs in his last eight starts as he's gone 2-2 with a 1.99 ERA.

The left-hander hasn't needed much help when facing the Pirates over the past three years, going 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in three starts with one walk and 24 strikeouts. Kershaw defeated the Pirates on April 6, allowing two hits and striking out nine in seven innings of a 1-0 win.

Starling Marte had both hits off Kershaw, but he's missed the last two games with a rib injury and it's unclear if he will play this weekend.

Pittsburgh (40-27) did fine without him Friday, beating Los Angeles (28-38) for the first time in four tries this season with a 3-0 victory. Andrew McCutchen had a two-run double and is 11 for 22 with five RBIs in the last six games for the Pirates, who have won five of seven.

With A.J. Burnett recently going on the disabled list, the Pirates will give Brandon Cumpton his major league debut. The 24-year-old right-hander began the season at Double-A Altoona, then was 4-4 with a 3.31 ERA in 11 appearances - 10 starts - for Triple-A Indianapolis.

"(Cumpton is) a three-pitch guy, a strike-thrower to both sides of the plate. He's a competitor," manager Clint Hurdle told the Pirates' official website.

It remains to be seen if Cumpton is the long-term replacement for Burnett, out indefinitely with a torn right calf.

"No need to get ahead of ourselves," Hurdle said. "We'll give him the ball and see where he can take it. We'll take it one start at a time."

Fellow rookie Yasiel Puig had two of the Dodgers' six hits Friday during their fifth loss in six games. The standout outfielder is batting .487 with four homers and 10 RBIs in 11 games since making his big league debut June 3, but Puig has only one extra-base hit in his last six contests.

Los Angeles has dropped 12 of 15 on the road.

Tagged: Dodgers, Pirates, Brandon League, Clayton Kershaw

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

What's wrong Miguel Cabrera? Posted: Apr 17, 2014
Jon Morosi on Miguel Cabrera, the AL West, and much more.

Iannetta gets showered after his walk-off HR Posted: Apr 17, 2014
Watch Chris Iannetta's reaction after beating the A's with a walk-off home run.

Bradley Jr. reacts to victory over White Sox Posted: Apr 17, 2014
Hear from Jackie Bradley Jr. after he hit the go-ahead run against the White Sox...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..