When Clayton Kershaw comes to town, opposing teams generally have the good sense to go down quietly.
Kershaw has been the most dominant pitcher in the Major Leagues this season, but the last time Kershaw pitched at Chase Field, it appeared the D-backs didn’t get the memo. They thrashed Kershaw for seven runs in 1 2/3 innings on May 17 in what was easily the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner’s worst start of the year.
Since that start, Kershaw is 13-2 with a 1.37 ERA.
“He just moves on. He just pushes forward,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Same way after the St. Louis game [a 9-0 Cardinals win in Game 6 of the 2013 NLCS], you know it bothered him, but more than anything he just pushes forward. He approaches it the same way as a good start. The next day, he’s working toward the next start. It’s pretty clear-cut for him, good or bad.”
Despite missing a month of the season with a back injury, Kershaw is tied for the NL lead in wins (15) and leads in ERA (1.82), complete games (six) and WHIP (0.83). He has been a major reason as to why the Dodgers have a five-game lead on the Giants.
“Clayton’s been really impressive,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. “Hopefully we can knock him down to size.”
The D-backs did just that in May, but now they’re almost an entirely different team.
A.J. Pollock, Chris Owings, Paul Goldschmidt, Cody Ross and Martin Prado combined for 15 hits, 13 RBIs and seven-extra bases in that game. But barring an unexpected disabled list activation, none of them will play on Wednesday. Pollock, Owings, Goldschmidt and Ross are on the disabled list, and Prado was traded to the Yankees on July 31.
The D-backs will send left-hander Wade Miley to the hill to face off against Kershaw. Miley, the only D-backs pitcher who has been in the starting rotation all season, has a 1.83 ERA in his last three starts.
D-backs: Reinforcements are coming
Three injured D-backs continued their rehab assignments with Triple-A Reno on Tuesday.
Pitcher Daniel Hudson, recovering from his second Tommy John surgery, made his fifth start, pitching one inning and striking out one batter without allowing a hit.
“He’s throwing good,” Gibson said. “He just needs to get innings right now.”
Gibson said infielder Owings is also close to rejoining the big league team, possibly before the Sept. 1 roster expansion.
Pollock, who has been out since June 1 with a fractured right hand, is hitting .133 (4-for-30) in eight games for the Aces.
“I think the plan going in was to let [Pollock and Owings] play a lot of baseball, get a lot of at-bats,” Gibson said.
Dodgers: Ryu throws bullpen session
Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu said he did not feel any pain after throwing a [a 9-0 Cardinals win in Game 6 of the 2013 NLCS] on Tuesday. He will face batters on Wednesday to help determine a date to come off a [a 9-0 Cardinals win in Game 6 of the 2013 NLCS].
Mattingly said Ryu could return to the rotation as early as Sunday, although he is eligible to be activated on Friday. Mattingly said Dan Haren will pitch Friday and Zack Greinke will get the ball Saturday.
Ryu is 13-6 this season with a 3.28 ERA. Ryu’s 2.77 FIP (fielding independent pitching) ranks eighth in the Major Leagues, but it is second on the Dodgers — behind Kershaw’s league-leading 1.84.
• Gibson said Goldschmidt had a CT scan on his fractured left hand on Monday, saying the scan showed the injury was “healing.”
• The Dodgers signed 24-year-old Cuban outfielder Yadir Drake and 16-year-old Italian outfielder Federico Giordani on Tuesday.
Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.