Clayton Kershaw has some work to do to approach his teammate's scoreless innings streak, but things could certainly be worse. Bartolo Colon's ERA over the past 10 starts is more than four times that of the reigning NL MVP's.
The diverging pitchers meet Thursday night in New York with the Los Angeles Dodgers co-ace trying to remain unbeaten against the Mets.
Zack Greinke is 2 2-3 innings past Kershaw's 41-inning streak from last season, but the left-hander is again climbing that ladder. After allowing three hits in eight innings of Saturday's 4-2 win in Washington, Kershaw (7-6, 2.68 ERA) hasn't given up a run in 20 innings as part of a 5-3 span with a 1.36 ERA in 10 starts. He struck out a season-high 14, giving Kershaw 27 strikeouts and no walks in 17 innings over consecutive victories.
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"It looked like he had good location," manager Don Mattingly told MLB's official website. "Obviously, all of his stuff was good. ... Just kind of continuing on what he's been doing his last 10, 12 (starts)."
His recent form is in line with his history against the Mets with a 5-0 record and 1.58 ERA in eight starts. Lucas Duda (0 for 7 with five strikeouts), Curtis Granderson (0 for 6) and Juan Lagares (0 for 4) haven't figured him out, but Ruben Tejada is 5 for 10.
Colon (9-8, 4.86) gave up seven runs in 4 1-3 innings of Saturday's 12-2 loss in St. Louis, dropping the right-hander to 3-6 with a 5.74 ERA in 10 starts. The Mets have lost his last five with the 42-year-old going 0-4 with a 6.18 mark. He also walked three batters for the first time in 2015 as he was again denied his fourth straight 10-win season.
"It's all command with him," manager Terry Collins said. "Bartolo does not change the way he pitches. Primarily fastball, with a mix of some changeups and some sliders, but when he commands the fastball, the other stuff is just an accent. And when he doesn't command the fastball, he's not the kind of a guy who's going to go strictly offspeed, he just doesn't pitch like that, and tonight he just didn't have the command."
Colon gave up two runs over six innings in an 11-3 win at Chavez Ravine on Aug. 24, the first time he faced the Dodgers since 2006. Adrian Gonzalez is 9 for 21 with two home runs in their matchups, but Howie Kendrick (2 for 22) and Carl Crawford (6 for 36) have struggled.
Crawford was back in the starting lineup for the first time since April 27 in Wednesday's 3-1 win in Atlanta, though he was 0 for 4 and is 6 for 32 in New York.
The Dodgers (54-42) have been held to six hits in each of their last two games, and their .708 OPS in July is on track to be their lowest month since August (.688).
New York (49-46) knows something about offensive struggles, but it was the bullpen that wasn't able to do the job in Wednesday's 4-3 loss as Bobby Parnell allowed three runs in the eighth inning to blow a 3-1 lead. Following 10 1-3 innings of work in Sunday's 18-inning win in St. Louis, Mets relievers have surrendered five runs, eight hits and three walks in seven innings.
At the plate, Ruben Tejada enters with a 10-game hitting streak, but Duda is batting .129 in 17 July games.
The Mets won two of three in Los Angeles from July 3-5 with Wilmer Flores going 9 for 13, but the Dodgers have won eight of 10 in New York.
Mets left fielder Michael Cuddyer (left knee) has been out of the starting lineup for three games and didn't sound optimistic that he'd return Thursday.