It is Clayton Kershaw’s world, and we are all just living in it. After last night’s nasty Matt Guerrier induced loss, the Dodgers really needed a quick clean shutout during the rubber game of this three game series at Dodger Stadium. Fortunately the Dodgers had the right man on the mound for the job. Today it was the Clayton Kershaw show, starring Kershaw, and featuring Carl Crawford, with Nick Punto in a supporting role. Kershaw’s utter domination over all opponents leads the Dodgers to a very enjoyable 2-0 win. The Dodgers had previously dropped something like 9 of their last 11 at home to Milwaukee, but the victory gives the Dodgers the series.
The Brewers were the one team that had seemed to have gotten to Kershaw in the past. Kershaw came into today’s game having lost to the Brewers three times. (2-3 4.94 ERA in six games) That changed today as Kershaw gave the Dodgers his usual dominating performance, after coming off of back to back five inning starts. Right hander Kyle Lohse pitched a quality game as well, but his decent start was overshadowed by Kershaw’s dominance. Lohse was as we say this year, (Got Kershed!)
Kershaw pitched 8 scoreless frames, allowing just four hits, and whiffing 12 Brewers. Kershaw didn’t walk anyone, and made 117 pitches. Kershaw matched his career high in pitches thrown, and nearly matched his career high in whiffs, which is 13. This was the nineteenth 10+ whiff game for Kershaw, and first this season.
Carl Crawford was the offensive star of the day by hitting two solo home runs. The first was on the very first pitch of the game against Lohse in the first inning. The second home run was another solo shot in the fifth frame, that went out to right. This was Crawford’s sixth career multi-home run game. Please also note, that Nick Punto got three hits in the game, and is off to a great start. (He’s hitting .400 this month) Dodger closer Brandon League pitched a scoreless ninth inning to record the save.
The Dodgers were still in a wait and see pattern with Mark Ellis, as Hanley Ramirez, and Chris Capuano begin their respective rehab assignments. We’ll have more on their rehab later. Hanley is due back very soon, possibly Monday or Tuesday. Adrian Gonzalez was back in the lineup after yesterday’s skin infection which landed him in the hospital for treatment. Thank goodness it was minor, and he was back at the ball park later, and got into the game late last night.
Kershaw was totally dominant as usual. Accept for a couple of singles allowed in the first, Kershaw didn’t allow anything the rest of the way, in his eight flawless frames. Let’s take a look at how this one played out, inning by inning. Enjoy my awesome Lairians!
Kershaw gets into a bit of trouble in the top of the first, but gets a double play to get out of it. Norichika Aoki whiffs for out number one. Jean Segura and Ryan Braun follow with consecutive singles. Jonathon Lucroy grounds into an inning ending 4-6-3 double play. Kershaw and the Dodgers escape.
The Dodgers start the bottom of the first inning with a bang, thanks to Carl Crawford. Crawford smacks a solo home run over the left center field wall. Dodgers lead 1-0. That’s Crawford’s third home run of the season. Nick Punto then singles to right, to continue the early momentum for the Dodgers. Adrian Gonzalez pops out to short. Matt Kemp’s force out is the second out, and Andre Ethier’s fly ball ends the first for the Dodgers. However the Dodgers are ahead 1-0.
Poor defense gets the Dodgers in hot water again in the top of the second. But the Dodgers persevere, and escape without damage. Rickie Week’s bloop single is overrun by Kemp, and Weeks is into second with a leg double. Kemp had no chance to catch it and makes a similar mistake like the one he made the other night. Carlos Gomez’s fly to right allows Weeks to tag up to third. Yuniesky Betancourt’s short fly to right is too shallow to score Weeks, and Martin Maldonado whiffs to end the frame.
Kershaw retires the Brewers in order for the first time in the game in the top of the third. Whiffs of Lohse and Segura highlight the frame. The Dodgers are able to muster only a lone Punto single in the bottom of the third. Kershaw responds with another 123 inning. The top of the fourth comes to an end when Kershaw whiffs Braun and Weeks. Lohse breezes through the fourth inning, whiffing Uribe for the third out.The Dodgers still lead 1-0 after four frames.
Move to the top of the fifth. Kershaw racks up two more whiffs in the frame. Maldonado and Betancourt are both victims of Clayton Kershaw. The score remains 1-0 Dodgers. Crawford smacks another home run in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, this one goes out to right field, into the pavilion to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. That’s Crawford’s second shot of the game.
Kershaw keeps racking up whiffs upon whiffs. Two more Milwaukee batters fall victim in the top of the sixth. Lohse, and Aoki both go down on strikes, and Segura grounds back to the box. Still 2-0 Dodgers. Lohse retires the Dodgers 123 in the sixth, as both pitcher’s horns are locked.
Another 123 inning for Kershaw in the top of the seventh, meant that he had retired 18 Brewers in a row, up to that point. Lohse matches that with a scoreless frame of his own, and we go to the eighth with the Dodgers still leading 2-0.
Things get a bit interesting in the top of the eighth. Kershaw is still in, and gives up a lead-off double to Carlos Gomez that goes over Bison’s head. Betancourt whiffs for the eleventh strikeout of the day for Kershaw. Now with Gomez still on second, Maldonado hits a come-backer right at Kersh, who spears it and very alertly throws to third to get the lead runner for the second out. Heads up play from Kersh!
That brings Kershaw’s pitch count up to 113 at this point. The Dodgers have a coaching visit on the mound, and decide to leave Kershaw in to get the third out of the inning. It was a very good decision. With bullpen activity, Kershaw reaches back and whiffs pinch-hitter Khris Davis. That’s the 12th whiff for Kershaw.
Meanwhile Kyle Lohse’s day is done after seven strong frames. Lohse allows just two runs, on five hits through seven. He walked none and whiffed four. Left hander Michael Gonzalez takes over on the mound in the bottom of the eighth. Gonzalez gives up a single to Punto, but works around it. Hairston pops out, Crawford whiffs, and Gonzo flies out to right.
Dodger closer and heart stopper Brandon League comes in to pick up the save. Aoki leads off with a ground-out to short. Segura pops out to Punto. Braun grounds out, to end the game. The Dodgers win! The final score of 2-0.
Great game! The Dodgers climb back to the .500 mark at 12-12 with this win. Tomorrow the Dodgers will get their first look at the current first place Colorado Rockies in a three game set starting tomorrow night. Tyler Chatwood gets the call tomorrow for Colorado. The Dodgers will counter with veteran Ted Lilly in a 7:10 PM start time.
Mark Ellis may be ok, Hanley and Capuano are due back very soon. Hopefully better days are ahead for the Dodgers. Check with us tomorrow night as we continue our documentation of the Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball seasons. Go Blue.