Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw to start Game 1 vs. D-backs in NLDS
Oct 5, 2023, 9:35 AM | Updated: 10:28 am
The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Wednesday night that their lefty ace, Clayton Kershaw, will start Game 1 of the National League Division Series against Arizona Diamondbacks righty Merrill Kelly.
The 35-year-old has put together another stellar season for L.A., posting a 2.46 ERA, 1.063 WHIP and 9.4 batters struck out per nine innings.
Arizona has had some positive results against the three-time Cy Young Award winner.
NL Rookie of the Year favorite Corbin Carroll has had some big-time At-bats against Kershaw, going 4-for-7 (.561) with two home runs and three RBIs.
Additionally, first baseman Christian Walker has dialed up five homers and eight RBIs while going 10-of-34 lifetime against the lefty.
Ketel Marte (12-for-46), Evan Longoria (11-for-39) and Tommy Pham (3-for-21) round out the other Arizona players that have at least eight at-bats against Kershaw. Other than that, the youthful Arizona team has limited experience against him.
Despite the dominant 16 regular season years, Kershaw has posted a 13-12 record with an ERA of 4.22, 213 strikeouts and one save in 38 appearances in the postseason in his career. He found great success in both 2017 and 2020 but has not been the same pitcher in other years.
Although, he has battled a shoulder injury this year that kept him on the injured list for six weeks. Over the last three seasons, Kershaw has not pitched more than 132 innings, a sign he could be relatively fresh for this postseason run.
Kelly, who was scheduled to pitch in Game 3 against the Brewers, will take the bump for Arizona after it swept Milwaukee in two games. He has had a phenomenal year but has struggled against L.A. over his career.
The righty has a 0-11 record with an ERA of 5.49 and 69 strikeouts in 16 appearances against the Dodgers.
First pitch in Game 1 against the Dodgers is set for 6:20 p.m. MST on Saturday on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.