It’s always fun to watch a sure-fire, first-ballot Hall of Famer ply his trade, and Clayton Kershaw is a sure-fire, first-ballot Hall of Famer. The three-time Cy Young Award winner and former MVP is up to his old tricks again in 2021, too, his 147 ERA+ and 2.73 FIP through 5 starts indicative of a 33 year old who isn’t planning on slowing down anytime soon.
He’ll be on the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers today in a situation that’s something of a rarity for them - trying to stop a losing streak and stave off being swept at home.
Kershaw has had his way with the Cincinnati Reds throughout his career - sure-fire, first-ballot Hall of Famers can usually boast such things, after all. He’s held them to just a .594 OPS in 11 career starts, with a 2.54 ERA and sub-1 WHIP against them in that time. Those Reds, though, are not these Reds, as the 2021 vintage enters play today having scored more runs (128) than any other team in baseball so far this year.
They might need that offense to carry them on the day, at least if they get a similar outing from Sonny Gray that they’ve seen from him in his first two starts of the season. Sonny has struggled to keep runs off the board since returning from the nagging back injury that slowed him in spring camp, and the hope is that he’s just been shaking off rust in a gradual return to form. Getting that to kick-in today would be groovy, as a win would both get the Reds back to .500 and give them a pile of momentum as they return home for their first big series against the Chicago Cubs of the season.
First pitch is set for 4:10 PM ET.