LA Dodgers vs Atlanta Braves: Clayton Kershaw vs Jair Jurjjens in Series Finale

Chris WilkesContributor IIApril 21, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 31:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch against the San Francisco Giants on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium on March 31, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The Dodgers, looking for a series win, send their most impressive young arm out against Atlanta in Game 4.

Clayton Kershaw, the 23-year-old southpaw, is off to a promising start to the 2011 season. The young ace has started the season with a 2.96 ERA and already 29 strikeouts.

For a team in so much turmoil, the Dodgers now more than ever need a dominant win from their staff ace.

With Atlanta's offensive struggles, Kershaw could quite likely feast upon the stagnant Atlanta order.

Atlanta counters with a rising star of their own in pitcher Jair Jurrjens. In his first start of the season back from a strained oblique, Jurrjens threw a dominant seven innings, allowing no runs on only two hits.

Jurrjens adds some much-needed stability to the Atlanta rotation that already has proven inconsistent at times.

The right-hander will presumably perform better than Derek Lowe last night, who was battered by the Dodgers while pitching on short rest. Runs will be at a premium against a dominant lefty like Kershaw, so run support is key for the Braves.

The durability of Jurrjens is still a question mark, but if he can stay healthy he may be on the way to a stellar season.

The Braves hope to escape L.A. with at least a split series, especially with the playoff rematch against the Giants coming up next. The Dodgers hope to maintain their success against the Braves, despite the media frenzy surrounding the ownership decisions of the team.

The Dodgers can only hope to share the same fortune as Texas, who went through similar MLB intervention.