Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta Braves Series Preview

Matt Kemp is pretty good at hitting a baseball.

This season has been a forgettable one for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Despite the MVP performance of Matt Kemp, the Dodgers have had to deal with the drama of Frank McCourt, Andre Ethier and numerous injuries. Under first-year manager Don Mattingly, the Dodgers are 66-70 and in third place in the NL West, 11.5 games out of first. Barring a collapse of the two teams in front of them, the Dodgers won't see October baseball this year.

However, the Dodgers have won nine of their last 10, including their last four in a row.

Pitching matchups and more after the jump.

Friday, September 2, 7:35 p.m. EDT

Chad Billingsley

#58 / Pitcher / Los Angeles Dodgers

6-1

240

R

R

Jul 29, 1984

 

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Chad Billingsley 10-10 27 27 1 0 0 0 165.1 163 82 75 12 70 137 4.08 1.41

Brandon Beachy

#37 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-3

215

R

R

Sep 03, 1986

 

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Brandon Beachy 7-2 20 20 0 0 0 0 114.1 100 46 42 15 32 128 3.31 1.15


Saturday, September 3, 7:10 p.m. EDT

Nathan Eovaldi

#50 / Pitcher / Los Angeles Dodgers

6-3

195

R

R

Feb 13, 1990

 

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Nathan Eovaldi 1-2 5 5 0 0 0 0 26.0 22 10 10 1 12 18 3.46 1.31

Mike Minor

#36 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-3

210

R

L

Dec 26, 1987

 

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Mike Minor 4-2 10 10 0 0 0 0 55.2 64 28 27 1 19 52 4.37 1.49


Sunday, September 4, 1:35 p.m. EDT

Clayton Kershaw

#22 / Pitcher / Los Angeles Dodgers

6-3

215

L

L

Mar 19, 1988

 

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Clayton Kershaw 17-5 28 28 5 2 0 0 198.2 152 59 54 13 50 212 2.45 1.02

 

Jair Jurrjens was originally scheduled to pitch Sunday, but has been scratched. Randall Delgado may be called on to replace him.

OFFENSE

Matt Kemp's MVP-caliber season leads an offense that's about league-average this year, hitting .255. Kemp's .321 average is fourth in the NL; his 31 home runs and 102 RBI lead the team to go along with his 36 stolen bases. His partner-in-crime, Andre Ethier, is second to Kemp on the team with a .293 average, but has only 11 HR and 56 RBI this year. The Dodgers have also received offensive contributions from Jamey Carroll (.288) and Aaron Miles (.285).

The offense has done well despite injuries to Juan Uribe and Rafael Furcal, the latter of whom was traded at the July deadline. Rookie shortstop Dee Gordon just came off the DL, having suffered a bruised shoulder. Juan Rivera has been a nice addition to the team, hitting .284 since being traded from Toronto.

PITCHING

The Dodgers are fifth in the NL with a 3.64 ERA, and they can thank Clayton Kershaw for that. Kershaw is having the best season of his career: he leads the NL in strikeouts, is tied for the league lead with 17 wins and is second with a 2.45 ERA. He's won nine of his last 10 starts and has tossed five complete games, two of them shutouts. Against the Braves, he has yet to record a decision in three starts and has never pitched at Turner Field.

Nate Eovaldi won his major-league debut August 6, and that's been his only win so far. He's equipped with what's been called an "outstanding" fastball with velocity - he's hit 100 MPH with it - and sink to go along with an above average curveball and occasional changeup. He's also been known to have command issues.

L.A.'s bullpen hasn't been a bright spot pretty much all year: the team's 4.00 bullpen ERA is near the bottom of the NL. However, they've seen a pleasant surprise emerge in Javy Guerra at the back end of the bullpen. When Jonathan Broxton was DL'd, Guerra was recalled from AA-Chattanooga and has recorded 13 saves with a 2.08 ERA. Josh Lindblom joined him and has a 2.21 ERA in 17 games. Mike MacDougal has been the most reliable arm, posting a 1.99 ERA in 60 games.

CURRENT BULLPEN

R - Javy Guerra (closer)
L - Scott Elbert
R - Blake Hawksworth
R - Kenley Jansen
L - Hong-Chih Kuo
R - Josh Lindblom
R - Mike MacDougal

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