By Jon Weisman
Clayton Kershaw has a 36-inning scoreless streak, has allowed seven runs in seven weeks and will take over the MLB lead in ERA if he throws seven shutout innings against the worst offense of the past 30 to 50 years.
But he won’t have the lowest ERA on the mound when play at Dodger Stadium begins tonight.
Cuba native Odrisamer Despaigne of the Padres will make his fourth Major League start, after posting a 0.92 ERA in 19 2/3 innings in which he has allowed two runs on 11 hits. So we shouldn’t be surprised if this game goes low-scoring and quick (well, in this day and age, maybe we should always be surprised by “quick.”)
Together, Kershaw and Despaigne have allowed 20 earned runs in 107 innings in 2014: a 1.68 ERA.
The main red flag for Despaigne so far is that he has walked eight in those 19 2/3 innings while striking out only five. His fielding-independent ERA is 4.49.
The Dodgers find themselves back in second place today, .001 behind the Giants, who defeated Oakland on Wednesday. San Francisco has a day game today with the A’s before hosting Arizona in a three-game series, while the Dodgers play their four against the Padres, who are in third place in the National League West despite their hitting woes.