Dodgers 1 8 0
Pirates 0 2 0
WP- Kershaw (2-0)
LP- Burnett (0-2)
S- League (2)
Thankfully Clayton Kershaw was once again dominant tonight as the Dodgers beat the Bucs again which allows them to pick up their first series win of the new season. A.J. Burnett had a very good game as well, and both starting pitchers both struck out 9 opposing batters. Burnett only allowed two more hits than Kershaw which equated to a one run difference in the score. The top of the Dodger lineup has been doing their job. Carl Crawford and Mark Ellis combined for four base hits on the night, and Crawford stole two bases as well. The Dodgers problems stemmed from the fact that their meat and potatoes guys have fallen completely flat so far. Matt Kemp went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, and Luis Cruz and Justin Sellers remain hitless on the season. The Dodgers are lucky to squeak out this win tonight thanks to Kershaw’s brilliance on the mound and Pittsburgh’s failure at the plate. Here’s how the game went down…
Starling Marte hits a bloop single into center field to lead-off for the Pirates. Neil Walker‘s sacrifice bunt moves Marte to second, but Marte is out at third when he tries to advance on a ground ball hit in front of him by Andrew McCutchen. Gaby Sanchez flies out to end the inning.
Carl Crawford draws a walk from A.J. Burnett to open the home half of the first for the Dodgers. With Mark Ellis at the plate, Carl Crawford steals the first base of the season for the Dodgers as he easily slides into second base. Ellis strikes out swinging. Matt Kemp strikes out swinging. Adrian Gonzalez strikes out swinging.
The Pirates can’t muster anything against Kersh in the third.
Justin Sellers, who has yet to collect a base hit so far this season, flies out to center in the bottom of the third. Kershaw flies out to right. Crawford hits a line drive single to short with two outs. Clint Barmes can’t make the play from the hole. Crawford then shows off his wheels as he steals his second base of the game! Mark Ellis singles through the left side of the infield past Barmes and Alvarez, and Crawford scores to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead! With Kemp in the batter’s box, Mark Ellis steals second base as the ball gets away from Russell Martin. Kemp takes strike three to end the mini rally.
Andrew McCutchen is Kersh’s fourth strikeout victim in the top of the fourth, and Gaby Sanchez is the fifth to succumb to Kersh’s nasty curveball. The southpaw has now retired 12 in a row.
Gonzalez leads off the bottom of the fourth with a walk. Ethier slaps a solid single to right field. A.J. Ellis hits into a double play. Gonzalez ends up at third on the play. Cruz strikes out, and the Dodgers strand another man.
In the fifth, Kershaw quickly retires Russell Martin again, and he strikes out Alvarez for the second time. Tabata strikes out yet again as well, and now Kershaw has struck out 7 Pirates and has retired 15 in a row. The Bucs have only had one man on base which was Marte in the first inning.
Justin Sellers strikes out to begin the bottom of the fifth. Kershaw draws one-out walk. Carl Crawford is fooled by a curve ball in the dirt, and he goes down on strikes. Mark Ellis strikes out looking to end the frame.
Kershaw strikes out two more in the sixth, but he does allow a single to Marte. That’s only the second hit of the night for the Bucs and both were from Marte. Neil Walker flies out to end the inning.
In the bottom half of the sixth, Matt Kemp strikes out swinging. That’s his third whiff of the night. Gonzalez singles followed by a walk to Ethier. That’s going to be all for A.J. Burnett, and the Pirates bring in Jared Hughes from the bullpen. A.J. Ellis promptly singles to load the bases up for the Dodgers. Cruz pops out to short. Sellers grounds into a force, and the Dodgers strand another three runners.
A.J. Burnett pitched 5 1/3 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits while striking out 9 and walking 4 on 108 pitches.
In the seventh, Russell Martin draws a two-out walk but he’s picked off between first and second to close out the inning. Oh Russell.
Carl Crawford and Mark Ellis hit consecutive singles with one out in the seventh. They each have two hits on the night. That’s a nice 1-2 punch by the top of the order. Matt Kemp disappointingly hits into an inning ending double play.
Paco Rodriguez comes out of the Dodgers bullpen to relieve Kershaw in the eighth inning.
Clayton Kershaw went 7 innings, allowing no runs on 2 hits with 9 strikeouts and 1 walk on 97 pitches.
Paco gets his guy and strikes out Pedro Alvarez. The Dodgers go to the pen again, and Kenley Jansen will come in. Jansen retires Jones on a pop-out and he strikes out Clint Barmes to end the inning for Pittsburgh.
Lefty Tony Watson is pitching for the Pirates in the bottom of the eighth, and Gonzalez quickly drives a double to center field to open things up. Ethier flies out. A.J. Ellis draws his signature walk. Luis Cruz strikes out looking, and Justin Sellers strikes out swinging. The Dodgers strand another two runners. Are you seeing a pattern here?
Brandon League will come in to pitch the ninth and try to hold the one-run lead. Skip Schumaker makes a nice catch in left field as he comes a long way to retire Travis Snider. Marte grounds out. League walks Walker which brings up McCutchen. McCutchen grounds out to second base to end the game.
Kershaw picks up his second win of the season, and League now has two saves. Burnett receives the hard luck loss. It shouldn’t have been that close of a game, but luckily for the Dodgers the Pirates’ offense is that much worse than their own so far this season.
Tomorrow Hyun-jin Ryu will make his second start for the Dodgers as he vies for his first career win and a sweep for the Dodgers.
I pose this question for you, Dodger fans: who will get a hit first? Justin Sellers or Luis Cruz? Sound off in the comments section.