MLB

Dodgers-Diamondbacks Preview

PHOENIX -- Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw will bring the best pitching credentials in baseball into his Wednesday afternoon start against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Diamondbacks might be the team that cares the least about his dominating numbers.

Kershaw might lead the major league pitchers in virtually every statistical category two weeks into June, but the Diamondbacks have found a way to hold their own against him in his career, even during his last five remarkable seasons.

Arizona has beaten Kershaw eight times in 23 starts, the most of any team in the major leagues. It is true the Diamondbacks have seen him plenty in the National League West, but none of the other teams in the division has fared as well.

Kershaw is 18-7 with a 1.62 ERA against San Francisco, 17-5 with a 3.20 ERA against Colorado and 14-6 with a 2.05 ERA against San Diego. He is 11-8 with a 2.76 ERA against Arizona.

An in-depth look at the numbers reveals more of the same. The Diamondbacks' batting average (.238), on-base percentage (.296), slugging percentage (.351) and OPS (.647) against Kershaw are the highest among opponents who have faced him more than three times.

Not that the Diamondbacks and opposing starter Patrick Corbin should expect a day at the park.

Kershaw (9-1) already has three shutouts, tied for the major league lead, and has given up 59 hits in 100 2/3 innings. He has 122 strikeouts and six -- six -- walks. He leads the majors in ERA (1.52) and WHIP (0.65).

Kershaw has finished first, second, first, first and third in the last five NL Cy Young Award votes, but his splits thus far as the best they have ever been.

"Clayton has been Clayton," Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said. "He's a guy that changes the mentality of this team every time he takes the ball. I think that is something that as a club that we are trying to get to sustain it every day, but there is definitely a different demeanor when we know he is taking the mound for us.

"It's one thing to have six walks. It's another thing to have all the strikeouts. It is even more impressive. It doesn't surprise any of us. We all know the amount of work and how dedicated he is. He's our guy, and there's a reason he's an ace and a multi-Cy Young winner."

Turner has four hits, including a homer, and a walk in the first two games of the series at Chase Field. He had one of the Dodgers' four homers in a 7-4 victory on Tuesday, when Joc Pederson hit two.

The Diamondbacks will attempt to win their first home series against the Dodgers since May 16-18, 2014, in Wednesday's finale. They were 6-13 against the Dodgers last season and 4-15 against them in 2013.

Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt had an RBI single on Tuesday to extend his streak of reaching base to 19 games. He is hitting .391 since May 27.

Goldschmidt has been particularly hard on the Dodgers, with 23 homers and 67 RBIs in 81 games against them. Both numbers are the most by any player against the Dodgers since Goldschmidt made his major league debut on Aug. 1, 2011.

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