MLB Team Report - Los Angeles Dodgers - INSIDE PITCH


PHOENIX -- The last time left-hander Clayton Kershaw pitched in Arizona, it did not work out so well. Suffice it to say, he has recovered nicely.

Kershaw, 15-3 with a 1.82 ERA, will bring a string of 13 consecutive quality starts into his Wednesday appearance at Chase Field, the first time he has pitched in Phoenix since giving up seven earned runs in 1 2/3 innings of an 18-7 loss to Arizona on May 17. It was the shortest outing of his career.

Kershaw has a knack for drawing from his previous game, good or bad, and then filing it away.

"I think he just moves on," Mattingly said. "Probably in some way it pushes him forward. I'm sure the St. Louis game last year pushed him forward."

Kershaw, who has not given up more than three runs in any of his last 17 starts this season, finished 2013 on a down note when he gave up seven runs in four innings of a 9-0 loss to St. Louis, when the Cardinals clinched the NLCS in Game 6.

"As much as anything, he is probably pretty realistic on did I make good pitches? Did I get ahead in the count? Was I getting the ball where I wanted it? Or did I do that and they just hit it and that was their night? Whatever it is, I think he treats it a lot like he does a good start. The next day is the blowout day, and he is working toward his next start. I think he is pretty clear cut driving forward, good or bad."

Mostly it has been good. He was 16-9 with a 1.83 ERA last season to win his second Cy Young Award in three years. Kershaw won it in 2011 and was runner-up to the Mets' R.A. Dickey in 2012.

Mattingly said he believed a pitcher can be a candidate for the MVP award, too.

"I think they can be, and I think he is having that type of year you're talking about," Mattingly said. "I think it has to be one of those years that is pretty special, and I think at this point it looks like one of those. So I think he is going to be considered."

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MLB Team Report - Los Angeles Dodgers - NOTES, QUOTES


RECORD: 75-58

STREAK: Won one

NEXT: Dodgers (LHP Clayton Kershaw, 15-3, 1.82 ERA) at Diamondbacks (LHP Wade Miley, 7-9, 4.29 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu threw a bullpen session at Chase Field on Wednesday and, if he recovers well, is a candidate to start Sunday in San Diego, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. Ryu, who is on the disabled list with a right hip strain, is eligible to be activated Saturday. "Hopefully he comes out of that good," Mattingly said. "We're not going to do anything with our timetable until we get through tomorrow. Then we'll know where we will go." Ryu is 13-6 with a 3.28 ERA in 23 starts. RHP Roberto Hernandez, who started Tuesday's game at Arizona, also is a candidate to start Sunday, Mattingly said.

--1B Adrian Gonzalez continued to torment Arizona on Tuesday, when he had a single, walked, scored twice and had a sacrifice fly. Gonzalez's 47-plus hits against Arizona since 2013 are the most by any major leaguer against another team. Arizona 1B Paul Goldschmidt, who will miss the rest of the season with a broken left hand, is second with 46 hits against the Dodgers.

--RF Matt Kemp extended his hitting streak to a modest four games Tuesday with his 16th home run of the season in the first inning of a 9-5 victory at Arizona. He is hitting .295 with seven doubles, eight homers and 26 RBIs in 36 games since the All-Star break.