Kershaw’s striking dominance

Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Joshua Gurnick

In case you somehow missed it … Clayton Kershaw is really good.

Since his 2008 big-league debut, he leads Major League Baseball in ERA (2.42), strikeouts (1,800), opponents’ batting average (.206), shutouts (13) and WHIP (1.02), and ranks in the top 10 in wins (117, tied for fourth), complete games (22, tied for third), strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.84, 10th) and strikeouts per nine innings (10.42, fourth).

Kershaw’s 1,800th career strikeout came in the ninth inning of the Dodgers’ 1-0 victory Sunday over the Padres, arriving in his 250th career game. Only Randy Johnson (1,877) has more strikeouts through his first 250 games.

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Josh Ravin suspended 80 games

Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Dodgers reliever Josh Ravin, who has been on the 60-day disabled list this year as a result of breaking his left forearm in a car accident during Spring Training, has received an 80-game suspension without pay for a violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball has announced.

Ravin, 28, tested positive for “Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide 2 (GHRP-2), a performance-enhancing substance,” MLB said.

The suspension of Ravin is effective immediately.

“We are disappointed to hear that Josh has violated Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program,” the Dodgers said in a statement. “The Dodgers fully support MLB’s policy toward eliminating performance enhancing substances from the sport and, as per the Joint Drug Program, we will have no further comment on this suspension.”

Ravin pitched 9 1/3 innings for the Dodgers last year, allowing 18 baserunners while striking out 12. For Triple-A Oklahoma City, the Chatsworth High grad allowed 40 baserunners in 28 innings with 38 strikeouts.

He issued a statement via the Major League Baseball Players Association.  (more…)

Dodgers recall their most memorable home runs

A.J. Ellis homers in Game 5 of the 2013 National League Championship Series. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

A.J. Ellis homers in Game 5 of the 2013 National League Championship Series. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

The most memorable home run of a big-leaguer’s life might not even be in his big-league life. Sometimes, the big blow is an obvious one, but other times, it’s one you might never have known about if you never asked.

So, we asked.

See what we mean in the stories that follow from these members of the Dodger family …

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Kershaw provides the answer — again

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By Jon Weisman

When you’re taking your daughter to a Dodger game, for the first time just the two of you, you want things to go right.

So thank you, Clayton Kershaw.

Seven days after the Dodgers’ last win, Kershaw was just a few wisps shy of perfection, facing two batters over the minimum while striking out 14 in a three-hit, 127-minute, 1-0 shutout of San Diego.

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Dodgers dig deep for homestand finale

Yasiel Puig and Dave Roberts prior to Saturday's game

Yasiel Puig and Dave Roberts prior to Saturday’s game

Padres at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Kershaw CCXLVIII: Kershawt. Elsewhere
Yasiel Puig, RF
Kiké Hernandez, LF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Justin Turner, 3B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Trayce Thompson, CF
Corey Seager, SS
A.J. Ellis, C
Clayton Kershaw, P

By Jon Weisman

Behind Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers take the field today trying to stave off the longest winless homestand in franchise history.

According to Stats LLC, via the Dodgers’ public relations department, the Dodgers have had six winless homestands at Dodger Stadium, but none longer than three games. In Brooklyn, the longest winless homestand was four games in 1893.

Overall, the Dodgers’ six-game losing streak is their longest since an eight-gamer from May 1-10, 2013. That was the year the team came back with a 42-8 run to win the National League West and reach the National League Championship Series.

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Video: ‘The History of Beards,’ by Vin Scully

During the top of the second inning Saturday, Vin Scully announced he had researched all things beards. Well, pull up a chair indeed …

— Jon Weisman

Joe Blanton’s been pretty cool as a reliever

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Cary Osborne

Batting practice is over at Dodger Stadium, and the players are walking in from the outfield after shagging.

It’s clear to see that breeds stick with breeds.

Outfielders walk in with outfielders. Starting pitchers walk in with starting pitchers. From left-center field, J.P. Howell, Louis Coleman and their bullpen mate Joe Blanton walk in together.

Blanton, who spent the first nine seasons of his career — including a stop with the Dodgers in 2012 — almost exclusively as a starter, has embraced the role.

“At this point in my career, it’s kind of like start all over and readjust,” said Blanton — who for the first month of the season was one of the National League’s top right-handed relievers. “I’m just trying to have fun with it and look at it as a new part of a game that I’ve never done before.”

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Dodgers ready for a new week

Rally time at the Ravine. #LetsGoDodgers

A photo posted by Los Angeles Dodgers (@dodgers) on

The Dodgers remained stymied on their current homestand, losing tonight to the Padres, 5-2. Ross Stripling had a career-high six strikeouts, but couldn’t stay out of trouble in the third and fifth innings, and the Dodgers didn’t score after Chase Utley’s two-run homer in the bottom of the third.

Clayton Kershaw takes the mound in the homestand finale Sunday. Oddly, to say the least, the Dodgers finished April tied for first place in the National League West, despite a 12-13 record.

— Jon Weisman

Farm Fresh: Sierra and Bellinger make 2016 debuts

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By Cary Osborne

Two of the most prominent Dodger minor leaguers — prized Cuban right-hander Yaisel Sierra and Dodgers No. 5 prospect Cody Bellinger — made their season debuts on Saturday.

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First things first for Stripling; Ryu and McCarthy ramp things up

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Padres at Dodgers, 6:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Kiké Hernandez, RF
Carl Crawford, LF
Joc Pederson, CF
Ross Stripling, P

By Cary Osborne

Watch Ross Stripling’s first inning tonight.

Though there’s a very small sample size, Stripling’s ability to avoid a stressful first inning has foretold a strong result.

In his debut on April 8, he threw 11 pitches in the opening frame and no-hit the Giants for 7 1/3 innings. He followed that up with six innings and two earned runs against Arizona on April 14 — 13 first-inning pitches guiding his path.

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