Clayton Kershaw has been as dominant as any pitcher in baseball this season. He leads the National League with a 1.84 ERA, he's given up just 73 hits in 107 1/3 innings, and he's lasted seven frames in nine of his past 10 starts.
So how in the world is the Dodgers ace only 5-4?
Well, for one, he's hardly getting any offensive support at all, as the Dodgers have scored seven times in his four losses this year. The left-hander has allowed one earned run or fewer nine times, but his teammates have managed just 24 runs in those games, and he has received four no-decisions.
Another reason for Kershaw's middling winning percentage? The San Diego Padres.
The Friars have faced Kershaw twice this season -- both at Dodger Stadium -- and they've beaten him twice. In those starts, Kershaw couldn't get past the past the sixth inning, and he surrendered seven hits both times. In total, the Padres plated eight runs against the lefty, although only five were earned.
The NL West's other southpaw starter named Clayton gets the ball for the Padres. Clayton Richard is fresh off his best start of the year in which he allowed just one run in eight innings against the D-backs.
After a brutal first few months that saw Richard's ERA hover around eight, the Padres are hopeful his ability to keep the ball down on Sunday foreshadows better things to come.
"Clayton threw extremely well," Padres manager Bud Black said. "I thought he had good command of the fastball down in the zone, which is something he hasn't always had this season. He had good action with all of his pitches, which is what we expect of him every time out."
He'll have to contend with Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who has fared extremely well against his former team. Thursday marked just the second time in 19 games that Gonzalez was held hitless against the Padres. He is batting .388 with two homers and 17 RBIs lifetime against San Diego, where he spent five seasons from 2006-10.
The Padres are part of an NL West logjam that has the top four teams separated by just three games. They sit in third place, 2 1/2 behind Arizona, while the cellar-dwelling Dodgers are 8 1/2 back.
Dodgers: Kemp on the mend
• Injured outfielder Matt Kemp is feeling better, but he still needs to run the bases before he can begin his rehab assignment for a hamstring injury.
Manager Don Mattingly said he's hopeful Kemp could begin his Minors stint early next week. The two-time All-Star hasn't played since May.
• Los Angeles recalled Elian Herrera from Triple-A Albuquerque and sent down reliever Chris Withrow. Herrera flied out in one pinch-hit at-bat Thursday.
Padres: Quentin unlikely to hit DL
• Carlos Quentin hasn't played since injuring his left shoulder on Friday, but the Padres are hopeful their left fielder isn't headed for a disabled list stint.
"Carlos is doing better, he's feeling better," Black said. "He's getting closer to hitting in the cage."
Quentin is batting .371 with two home runs in his last 10 games.
• Padres third baseman Chase Headley is hitting just .190 lifetime against Kershaw with nine strikeouts in 42 at-bats.
• Since Mattingly took over as Dodgers manager in 2011, Los Angeles has gone 14-8 at Petco Park.
• Gonzalez and shortstop Hanley Ramirez have 12 lifetime at-bats apiece against Richard. Ramirez has nine hits and Gonzalez has eight.