Clayton Kershaw is tied for the majors’ lowest ERA, but unfortunately also owns baseball’s worst run support average.
Fortunately for him, the Milwaukee Brewers have been awful against left-handers as they face Kershaw in Monday night’s opener of a three-game set with the Los Angeles Dodgers out to snap a six-game road slide.
Kershaw (4-2, 1.40 ERA) is tied with St. Louis rookie Shelby Miller for the lowest ERA in baseball, but his 2.10 run-support average has forced him to be at his best every time out.
A total of 12 runs have been scored by both teams over his last four starts, and Kershaw came within one out of his second shutout as he struck out 11 in Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over Washington.
Kershaw’s 2.70 career ERA tops all starters since 1920 with a minimum of 1,000 innings.
“I haven’t been playing very long,” he told the Dodgers’ official website. “I’ve got a lot of time to screw it up.”
He’s yielded one run over 14 innings in winning his two previous outings at Miller Park, where he’ll face a Brewers team that is 4-13 against left-handers. Kershaw struck out 12 over eight innings April 28 in a 2-0 home win over Milwaukee (17-25).
Kershaw seeks his first road win in six starts as he faces Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo (3-3, 4.50), who is 1-3 in six career starts against the Dodgers (17-25) with a 6.21 ERA - his second highest against an NL opponent.
The Milwaukee right-hander is 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA over his last three outings, losing his second straight Wednesday after giving up two runs over six innings in a 3-1 loss at Pittsburgh.
These teams are among baseball’s worst in May. Los Angeles is 4-12 and Milwaukee is 3-14, with only Houston and Miami (both 4-13) between them.
The Brewers capped a 2-8 trip with Sunday’s 4-2 defeat to St. Louis.
“Certainly, it seems like we’ve been on the road for a month,” star left fielder Ryan Braun said. “It wasn’t very much fun. We didn’t do many things well.”
The Dodgers welcomed back Mark Ellis in Sunday’s 5-2 defeat at Atlanta. He went 0 for 4 after missing 19 games with a right quadriceps strain.
Matt Kemp was 1 for 13 in the weekend series, with his slugging percentage dropping to a career-low .340.
Carl Crawford homered three times as Los Angeles took two of three at home from Milwaukee from April 26-28. Braun was limited to two hits in 12 at-bats in that series.
NL batting leader Jean Segura is hitting .465 over the last 10 games for the Brewers, who are 5-0 on Mondays.