Walker versus Kershaw

With the Diamondbacks blowing through their top two pitchers to win the play-in game on Wednesday it seems likely the Diamondbacks will turn to Taijuan Walker who wasn’t even on the play-in game roster.  Something that MLB needs to correct. If you want to limit the advantage of the wild card team, they need to put in their 25-man roster for the play-in game and the NLDS. I would be saying this even if the Dodgers were in the play-in game. Jon Weisman back in 2016 put me onto the loophole of the play-in game 25 man roster.

On paper, this was the best possible outcome for the Dodgers as Robbie Ray loomed like a potential season killer if the Dodgers had to face him two times in a five-game series. Now it looks as though he will start game two but probably have a very short least, and hopefully, there won’t be a game five for him to complete his mastery over the Dodgers.

Taijuan Walker will be another young pitcher with a great future who had a good year that will be making his first postseason start. That has not bode well for the pitchers he will follow this postseason with Severino and Gray combining for only four outs, eleven hits, and seven earned runs as starters for their respective teams.

Clayton Kershaw needs to pitch well enough to beat Taijuan Walker for the Dodgers to have any chance in this series. If he can’t do that, he will need to beat Robbie Ray in a game five.  It would be a good idea to do the former so he won’t have to deal with the latter. Actually, I think he has to do the former just so he will have a shot at the latter.

I have no idea what to expect from Kershaw.  He will be facing a very potent offensive team, one that has more firepower than the Dodgers. The gauntlet of Goldy/Martinez/Lamb is somewhat offset by Lamb not being able to hit lefthanders, but Martinez and Goldy feast on them so I’ll call it a draw.  Iannetta is no slouch and neither is Pollock. Against left-hand pitching there is not an easy out in the Diamondback lineup.

The Diamondbacks are built to beat the Dodgers strength, the left-handed heavy rotation.

Player              Split Year HR  PA   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS
J.D. Martinez      vs LHP 2017  6  65 .309 .400 .745 1.145
Nick Ahmed         vs LHP 2017  2  53 .396 .453 .625 1.078
Paul Goldschmidt   vs LHP 2017 10 162 .311 .422 .591 1.013
Chris Iannetta     vs LHP 2017  6  94 .300 .404 .563  .967
A.J. Pollock       vs LHP 2017  7 152 .277 .329 .525  .854
Brandon Drury      vs LHP 2017  3 139 .271 .302 .436  .738
Ketel Marte        vs LHP 2017  2  76 .242 .342 .379  .721
David Peralta      vs LHP 2017  2 148 .269 .338 .373  .711
Jeff Mathis        vs LHP 2017  1  54 .213 .315 .362  .677
Adam Rosales       vs LHP 2017  2  59 .200 .237 .382  .619
Daniel Descalso    vs LHP 2017  2  90 .169 .289 .299  .588
Jake Lamb          vs LHP 2017  5 156 .144 .269 .288  .557
Gregor Blanco      vs LHP 2017  1  63 .217 .242 .283  .525
Chris Herrmann     vs LHP 2017  2  47 .156 .191 .311  .503
Rey Fuentes        vs LHP 2017  0  22 .190 .227 .190  .418

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/5/2017.

However, Kershaw/Hill are not ordinary left-handers and it would behoove them to pitch like it.

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