August 24, 2012
Throwdown: Clayton Kershaw vs. Madison Bumgarner
Clayton Kershaw dominated the rival Giants last season, going 5-0 with a 1.07 ERA and a 49:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in six starts and 42 innings, including a perfect four-for-four in head-to-head battles with San Francisco ace Tim Lincecum. Kershaw has held the Giants to a sub-2.00 ERA again in 2012, though he had come up on the short end of the decision in two of his three starts against them to Monday's match-up with Madison Bumgarner. It was the first meeting for two young southpaws who will likely be dueling out west for years to come.
The numbers for the two pitchers are remarkably similar this season (see table), with Kershaw continuing to make his own case against DIPS theory by leading the NL in hit rate for the third time in four seasons, playing in front of a Dodger defense that ranks eighth in the majors in Defensive Efficiency. The L.A. ace has maintained a sub-.280 BABIP in each of the last three seasons, and his current mark of .268 would qualify as a career-best. Bumgarner entered the season with a career BABIP over .300, but his 2012 mark is even lower than Kershaw's in spite of the ninth-ranked gloves of the Giants.
2012 Stats (entering Monday's Game)