The Los Angeles Dodgers have reached the final leg of this season’s 60-game sprint as they begin a three-game Freeway series with the L.A. Angels, who look to keep hope alive of clinching a spot in the playoffs.
Clayton Kershaw takes the mound Friday night for his final start of the regular season. In year’s past that has typically served as a shortened outing for more of a tune up, but Kershaw anticipates his start being of normal length this time around.
Outside of missing Opening Day and the first couple weeks of the season because of back discomfort, he’s enjoyed a bounce-back campaign in 2020. Kershaw enters the series opener with the Angels at 6-2 with a 2.15 ERA and 07.5 WHIP in nine starts.
All but one of those have come with Austin Barnes behind the plate. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts admittedly is not fond of personal catchers, but he recognizes the chemistry and comfort level between Kershaw and Barnes, and intends to keep them together for the postseason.
When Kershaw faced the Angels earlier this season, he held them to just one run — on a homer — and collected six strikeouts over seven innings.
He’s opposed by Andrew Heaney, who is 4-3 with a 4.02 ERA. However, Heaney has been much improved in his past five outings, going 4-1 with a 2.70 ERA over that span.
He was knocked around by the Dodgers last month, allowing four runs on five hits and also issuing four walks. Though, Heaney did collect six strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched.
When the Dodgers swept the Angels in a three-game series at Angel Stadium in August, it marked their first time ever accomplishing as much.
SS: David Fletcher
1B: Jared Welch
CF: Mike Trout
3B: Anthony Rendon
DH: Albert Pujols
LF: Justin Upton
C: Max Stassi
RF: Taylor Ward
2B: Luis Rengifo
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