Clayton Kershaw is just too good. Kershaw gave the Dodgers exactly what they needed in a must win game. Kershaw tossed eight scoreless frames, and the Dodger offense exploded again, for their third straight win, and third straight game of eight runs scored. The Dodgers pounded Colorado 8-0 to stay alive in the wild card race, and even their season series with the Rockies at eight wins apiece.
Kershsaw improved his record at home against Colorado to 4-1, and 13-9 against the league. Kershaw allowed just five hits through eight frames, walked two, and whiffed ten, as he made 113 pitches. Kershaw lowers his ERA to 2.58, and has 221 whiffs on the season, which places him just one behind R.A Dickey for the NL lead. He was Obviously showing no ill effects from the hip injury that caused him to miss some time earlier this month. Kershaw will start the final game of the season for the Dodgers next Wednesday. The Dodger’s offense exploded off of opposing starter and lefty Jeff Francis. Shane Victorino hit a three-run home run, (His second as a Dodger and first at Dodger Stadium as a Dodger), Andre Ethier had three hits, and an RBI double, and Bobby Abreu hit a monster pinch-hit two-run home run into the lodge level seats of right field. It was the 21st Lodge level home run in Dodger Stadium history. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that Don Mattingly batted Luis Cruz second in the lineup. Kudos to Donnie for finally doing what’s right.
The Cardinals killed the Nationals today 12-2, so the win keeps the Dodgers alive in the NL Wild Card race, but barely. The Dodger’s elimination number is now 3. The Dodgers also celebrated Tommy Lasorda’s birthday, even though Tommy’s Birthday was actually Sept. 22. Since the Dodgers were on the road, they paid tribute to our site’s namesake. The Dodgers made Tommy and us proud tonight, with another rousing win.
The Dodgers begin the bottom of the first with their usual ohfers against lefty Jeff Francis. Mark Ellis whiffs on a called check swing. Luis Cruz flies out to deep right. Matt Kemp whiffs to end the first inning.
Colorado Catcher Wilin Rosario leads off the top of the second with a line drive double down the left field line. Kershaw then rebounds to whiff Chris Nelson, and Matt McBride. Andrew Brown draws a two out walk to put runners at first and second. Kershaw then finally whiffs DJ LeMahieu on a breaking ball, to end the inning.
Adrian Gonzalez singles to center to start the bottom of the second. Hanley Ramirez walks. Andre Ethier fists a flare double just over the head of Colorado third baseman Chris Nelson. Gonzalez scores, and Ramirez goes to third. 1-0 Dodgers. Shane Victorino immediately slams a three-run home run over the left center field pavilion wall, and the Dodgers lead 4-0! That’s Victorino’s second homer of the year with the Dodgers. A.J. Ellis flies out to deep right. Kershaw whiffs. M.Ellis bloops a single into left. Luis Cruz fouls out to Rosario to end the frame. The Dodgers score four though, and lead 4-0.
Opposing starter Jeff Francis grounds out to start the top of the third for Colorado. Rutledge flies out. Colvin bangs a two-out single to right. Pacheco grounds into a force out to end the inning. Bottom of the third. Kemp’s line drive to second is one-hopped by Lemahieu for the first out. Gonzalez pops out to second. Ramirez fouls out to Nelson in front of the Dodger Dugout to end the frame.
Top of the fourth. Kershaw whiffs Rosario, and Nelson, and gets McBride to pop out. In the bottom of the fourth, Ethier leads off with an infield single to short. Victorino singles Ethier to third, and takes second on the throw to third. AJ is hit by a pitch to load the bases with none out. Kershaw grounds into a 4-6-3 double play, Ethier scores, and it’s 5-0 Dodgers. Although, Kershaw’s hustle made the play at first base close. Kershaw is credited with an RBI. M.Ellis lines out to center to end the frame.
Kershaw opens the top half of the fifth frame with a whiff of Andrew Brown. Lemahieu singles to right. Charlie Blackmon pinch-hitting for Francis, his grounder to the hole at short, is turned into a force out at second. Hanley with a nice backhanded stop ad throw for the second out. Rutledge reaches on an infield single to third, despite Cruz’s diving stop and wide throw. Kershaw then whiffs Colvin like a statue, and the Dodgers get out of it.
Guillermo Moscoso, a young righty is called in to pitch the bottom of the fifth for Colorado. Cruz singles to right. Kemp walks. Gonzalez a high fly out to center, and the runners can’t advance. McBride makes a great leaping catch against the wall of Hanley’s long drive to right for the second out. Cruz tags up to third. Ethier lines out to Rutledge, and the Dodgers don’t score.
Kershaw pitches a scoreless top of the sixth, allowing a Nelson single, but that’s all. Moscoso stays out for the bottom of the sixth. He allows a one out single to A.J., Kershaw sacrifices him over to second. Moscoso whiffs M.Ellis to end the frame. Dodgers still lead 5-0 after six.
Top of the seventh. Kershaw walks Brown to lead off, but then makes a great play on a Lemahieu grounder to turn a double play. Kershaw reaches between his legs to snare the grounder, toss to second to convert the 1-4-3 double play. Moscoso pops out to end the frame. Josh Roenicke pitches a scoreless bottom of the seventh for Colorado. Cruz and Kemp both fly out, and Gonzalez is called out on a called third strike.
Kershaw enjoys another easy inning in the top of the eighth. Rutledge grounds out to First, Gonzalez underhand feeds to Kershaw covering the bag for the first out. Kershaw whiffs Colvin and Pacheco to end the eighth. That’s ten whiffs for Kersh!
Will Harris pitches the bottom of the eighth for Colorado. He whiffs Hanley for the first out. Ethier flares a single into center, for his third hit of the night. Victorino swings at a wild pitch, and Ethier advances to second. Victorino then whiffs for the second out and whiff for Harris. With AJ at the plate, Harris uncorks another wild pitch that bounces into the Colorado dugout. Ethier naturally moves over to third. A.J. then doubles to the left field wall, Ethier scores, and it’s 6-0 Dodgers. Bobby Abreu comes off the bench to pinch-hit for Kershaw and smacks a huge monstrous two-run home run into the lodge section of right field. Bobby Blue becomes just the ninth Dodger to ever hit a lodge home run, and the 21 total. M.Ellis doubles, but Cruz flies out to end the fun, and the frame.
Move to the top of the ninth with the Dodgers now leading 8-0. Josh Wall, on to to pitch for the Boys in Blue. Rosario whiffs. Nelson grounds out back to the box, with Wall making a nice deflection and recovery for the out. McBride pops up, and the Dodgers win!
The Dodgers improve to 82-75, and remain three games back of the Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card. Philadelphia and Arizona were both eliminated, and Milwaukee lost to Houston to fall five games back with five to play. The Dodgers will live to play another day, and must win again tomorrow. Can the Dodgers pull off a miracle? The Dodgers will give the ball to Joe Blanton, and Colorado will counter with Tyler Chatwood in game two tomorrow night.
Oh and BTW, Bobby Abreu’s two-run pinch-hit home run was the second Dodger lodge homer of the season. If you remember, Juan Rivera did it earlier in the season against the Braves. Only eight other Dodgers, have ever done it. Join us tomorrow, as the Dodgers fight to stay alive in the Wild Card race! Can the Dodgers pull a miracle out of their hats? Stranger things have happened. Stick around here to find out. Go Blue.