Los Angeles (79-78) at San Diego (69-89)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: San Diego, CA
Temp: 70° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Sun Sep 25, 2011
  • TV: PRIME, Ch4
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Clayton Kershaw(notes) has one last chance to sway NL Cy Young Award voters.

The red-hot Kershaw will try to become the Los Angeles Dodgers’ first 21-game winner in 23 years on Sunday when they meet the San Diego Padres.

No Dodger has won 21 games or the NL Cy Young since Orel Hershiser accomplished both in 1988. Kershaw (20-5, 2.27 ERA), who looks to match Arizona’s Ian Kennedy(notes) for the NL lead in wins, also leads the league in ERA, strikeouts (242) and opponent batting average (.208).

Besides Kennedy, the Phillies’ Roy Halladay(notes) will get serious consideration to win back-to-back Cy Youngs, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly says the honor should go to Kershaw.

“I’m sure there are people in Arizona going to debate it and people in Philadelphia and places like that, but for me, the numbers speak for themselves,” Mattingly told the Dodgers’ official website. “I don’t need to politic for him. I see him every five days. I’m really prejudiced how good this guy is.”

Kershaw is 7-0 with a 0.77 ERA in his last eight starts after limiting San Francisco to one run and six hits in 7 1-3 innings of Tuesday’s 2-1 win.

Slugger Matt Kemp(notes) said the Los Angeles left-hander should win the Cy Young, even if the Dodgers (79-78) are flirting with a .500 record for the second straight year while Kennedy and the Diamondbacks are headed to the postseason.

“If this boy doesn’t win the Cy Young, something is definitely wrong,” Kemp said.

Kemp, who’s trying to become the first player to win the Triple Crown in 44 years, went 1 for 4 in Los Angeles’ 3-0 loss Saturday at Petco Park.

He leads the NL with 119 RBIs and is tied with Albert Pujols(notes) for the league lead with 37 homers, but is hitting .325 - six points fewer than league leader Ryan Braun(notes) and five behind Jose Reyes(notes) with four games left.

“I knew taking (batting practice) that they weren’t going anywhere. In this park, you really have to go against the wind and some heavy air out there,” said Kemp, who needs three homers to become the fifth player in major league history to hit 40 and steal 40 bases in the same season.

Aaron Harang(notes) scattered three hits over eight innings Saturday for San Diego (69-89), retiring 21 of the final 22 batters faced.

Padres starters have posted a 2.03 ERA in eight home games against the Dodgers this year, and will turn to Cory Luebke(notes) to continue that excellence Sunday.

Luebke (6-9, 3.23) hopes to close his season by winning consecutive starts for the first time. The rookie left-hander surrendered Colorado’s only hit of the game - a two-run homer - and tied a career-best with nine strikeouts over seven innings of San Diego’s 6-2 victory last Monday.

Luebke, who didn’t join the rotation until June 26, is 0-2 with a 2.86 ERA in four starts following a Padres loss.

He’s 0-1 with a 3.97 ERA in two games - one start - versus Los Angeles this year.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Kershaw LAD vs. C. Luebke SD
21-5 Record 6-10
2.28 ERA 3.29
248 K 154
54 BB 44
0.98 WHIP 1.07


Sunday, Sep 25