Clayton Kershaw hopes to continue his amazing start to the season on Friday when the Los Angeles Dodgers kick off a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
Emotions should still be running high for the Dodgers, who will take the field following a 3-2 win over the San Diego Padres on Thursday in a game that featured a wild brawl. The fracas started when Dodgers' righty Zack Greinke hit Carlos Quentin with a pitch. During the melee, though, Greinke suffered a broken left collarbone and will be sidelined indefinitely.
"I never hit him on purpose," said Greinke, who had hit Quentin on two other occasions." He always seems to think I'm hitting him on purpose, but that's not the case."
It's unknown how much time Greinke will miss, as he, Matt Kemp, who confronted Quentin in the parking lot after the game, and Jerry Hairston Jr. were all ejected from the contest.
"He should not play a game until Greinke can pitch," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said about Quentin. "If he plays before Greinke pitches, something is wrong. Their guys charges the mound being an idiot and our guy is going to be out for however long and their guy is probably going to be playing in three days. It's a joke."
Los Angeles now turns to Kershaw, who has yet to allow a run in winning his first two starts. Kershaw has surrendered just six hits and has struck out 16 batters in 16 innings.
"For me it just starts with throwing strikes," said Kershaw. "Just keep pumping the strike zone and letting the defense work. That's kind of my mindset."
Kershaw's impressive run could continue on Friday, as he owns a 7-5 lifetime mark against the Diamondbacks with a 2.25 ERA in 14 starts. However, he has pitched to a 1.81 ERA in his last 11 starts against them.
Arizona, meanwhile, will counter with righty Patrick Corbin, who won his first start. Corbin beat the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday, holding them to a pair of runs and eight hits in six innings.
He was 1-1 with a 1.88 ERA in three games (2 starts) versus the Dodgers last season. Corbin also picked up a save in his lone relief appearance against them.
Arizona enters this tilt with wins in five of its last seven games, but on the heels of a series loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Diamondbacks lost the first two games of their three-game set with the Bucs, but avoided the sweep with a 10-2 win on Wednesday.
Arizona was 12-6 against the Dodgers last season.