Will Kershaw continue to dominate Mets?
July, 1, 2012
By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
Jason O. Watson/Getty ImagesClayton Kershaw is 4-0 in five career starts against the Mets.The Los Angeles Dodgers are the fourth team in the live ball era to be shut out at least five times in a six-game span, joining the 1958 Senators, 1963 Colt 45s and the 1992 Cubs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The only team since 1900 to be shut out six times in a seven-game span is the Colt 45s.
The Dodgers are hoping to avoid that fate when they face the New York Mets tonight at 8 ET on ESPN. Of course, they need their bats to avoid being shut out, but they also need some help from their ace Clayton Kershaw, who goes head-to-head with Mets starter Dillon Gee.
Kershaw has dominated the Mets since 2009. In his last four starts, he’s 4-0 with a 0.31 ERA. He’s allowed one earned run in 28 ⅔ innings, while Mets opponents have hit .208 against him.
In Kershaw's five career starts against the Mets, he has a 1.39 ERA. Among starting pitchers with at least five starts against the Mets, only Doc Medich has a lower ERA (0.85) than Kershaw.
Among pitchers with a minimum of 500 innings pitched since 2009, Kershaw has the lowest ERA (2.65), just ahead of Roy Halladay (2.66).
In the last 30 years, Dwight Gooden (2.62) is the only National League pitcher with a lower ERA in his first five career seasons than Kershaw (2.86).
Kershaw’s slider hasn’t quite been where it was last year. In 2011, opponents hit .121 with three home runs and a .184 slugging percentage against his slider. This season, opponents are hitting .194 with six home runs and a .408 slugging percentage against Kershaw’s slider. Five of those six homers came in the last month.
Kershaw is 28-15 with a 2.51 in his career at home. No active starting pitcher with at least 400 innings pitched has a lower career home ERA.
Gee is 20-14 in his 1st 50 career games. Only two Mets – Dwight Gooden and Tom Seaver – have begun their careers with more wins in their first 50 games.
Based on peripheral numbers, Gee is having a better season than he did last year. After striking out 6.4 batters and walking 4.0 batters per nine innings last year, he’s striking out 8.4 batters and walking 2.4 batters per nine innings this season.
A stat that helps encapsulate this is xFIP (expected fielding independent pitching). Even though his ERA is unchanged this year, Dillon’s xFIP is significantly down in 2012 (3.42) compared to 2011 (4.46).
The Mets gave him 4.8 runs per start last year. That’s down to 4.4.
Gee has the highest chase percentage among National League starters. His 34 chase percentage is slightly ahead of Jeff Samardzija, Cliff Lee, R.A. Dickey and Ian Kennedy.
Gee will be making his third career start against the Dodgers. In his previous two starts, he’s 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA. With Josh Thole behind the plate, Gee was a 3.42 career ERA.