The Dodgers Kershed the Nationals on Tuesday night, by showing them their Kershitude, in a nice quick clean 2-0 victory. Clayton Kershaw starts are like a breath of fresh air, after those frustrating distasteful Beckett starts. Kershaw nearly tied his career mark for whiffs as he struck out 11 Nationals, en route to an easy 2-0 victory. Kershaw was once again utterly dominant. The lefty ace pitched 8.2 frames allowing nothing on five hits and walked only one. Kershaw nearly finished his own game, but had to be removed with two outs in the ninth after he made 132 pitches. Kershaw has now pitched over 1,000 innings in his career. Kershaw improves his record to 4-2.
His opposing starter, Washington’s Dan Haren almost matched him pitch by pitch, but got out-pitched. You could say he was Kershed. Haren pitched seven strong frames, and only allowed two runs on four hits, but took a tough luck loss. His loss evens his books at 4-4. Kenley Jansen recorded the final out to finish the game for Kersh, and record his second save of the season. Ryan Zimmerman accounted for all of the Washington offense, as he went 3 for 3 with singles off of Kershaw. He had three of the five hits for Washington. But there was no hitting Kershaw tonight. No, not tonight there wasn’t.
The only offense the Dodgers needed tonight was their two runs in the bottom of the third. After Kershaw was hit in the foot by a pitch, Kemp singled, and both men moved up on a wild pitch. Andre Ethier’s two-run single drove in both runs, giving the boys in blue all the offense they would need.
This game was so enjoyable. The Dodgers improve to 16-22 and even the series with Washington. Here is how the game played out. Enjoy the highlights!
Clayton Kershaw begins the game by whiffing Danny Espinosa. The whiff officially gives him 1,000 career innings pitched. Lombardozzi pops out. Then the next three Washington hitters reach base. Ryan Zimmerman’s bloop single falls in front of the diving Andre Ethier. Ian Desmond’s ground ball single finds the hole, and Adam LaRoche walks. With the bases loaded, Kershaw whiffs Tyler Moore, and the Dodgers finally escape a first inning without allowing runs.
Kershaw comes back out in the top of the second, and just strikes out the side. The lefty whiffs Ramos, Perez, and Haren, and makes them all look like fools. Skip Schumaker and Nick Punto both single in the bottom of the second with two outs, but of course the Dodgers strand them there. Dee Gordon’s fly out ends the frame. We have a scoreless game going to the third.
Kershaw racks up two more whiffs in the top of the third, when he whiffs Espinosa, and Lombardozzi. Zimmerman singles with two outs, and advances to second on a balk called on Kershaw. Desmond flies out to end the inning.
The Dodgers take the lead in the bottom of the third. Kershaw is hit in the foot with a pitch, and after Crawford flies out, Kemp’s ground ball single to right sends Kersh to second. With Gonzo batting a wild pitch on a slider that gets away from Ramos, moves the runners to second and third. Gonzo whiffs for the second out. Andre Ethier, who is as cool as the other side of the pillow singles up the middle to drive in both Kershaw, and Kemp, and the Dodgers lead 2-0. Ethier is balked over to second with A.J. Ellis at the plate (That’s the second balk of the game.) A.J. lines out to second for the third out of the frame.
Kershaw sets down the Nationals in order again in the top of the fourth. That includes his eighth whiff of the night against Ramos to end the inning. Haren returns the favor with a 123 fourth inning of his own, and we go to the fifth with the Dodgers still leading 2-0.
Kershaw whiffs two more in a scoreless top of the fifth. Whiffs to Haren and Espinosa give Kersh ten whiffs. Haren hurts himself in the bottom of the fifth, but remains in the game. Washington goes out to check on the right hander, and it appears he hurt his foot.
We move to the top of the sixth, with the score remaining 2-0 Dodgers. Kershaw gets Lombardozzi to ground out, but Zimmerman collects his third hit of the night. Desmond grounds out, and LaRoche whiffs to give Kershaw 11 strikeouts. In the top of the seventh, with the score at 2-0, Kershaw retires Washington in order again. Tyler Moore pops out. Ramos grounds out, and Eury Perez loops out to Gordon. Kershaw has reached 100 pitches through seven, but he and the Dodgers lead by two.
Haren sets the Dodgers down in the bottom of the seventh, in what would turn out to be his final inning of work. Haren works seven frames, allowing two runs on four hits. He walked none, whiffed four, and balked once.
Kershaw plows through the top of the eighth. Denard Span pops out. Espinosa grounds out. Lombardozzi grounds out. Kershaw stays in the game and bats in the bottom of the eighth. He flies out, and the Dodgers go down in order in the bottom of the eighth.
Move to the top of the ninth. Dodgers leading 2-0. Kershaw is sent back out for the ninth. Kershaw is well over 100 pitches at this point. But Mattingly has no choice, because if anyone else other than Kenley Jansen comes in from the pen, the game is instantly blown.
Zimmerman’s long fly ball into the right field corner is caught on the warning track by Ethier. A fan gives him a hug as he runs into the wall. Desmond hits another deep fly into left field, that sends Crawford into the corner to make the catch for the second out. Kershaw still has some petrol in the tank, and he is allowed to finish the game, and he almost did. But LaRoche singles into center, and the Dodgers are forced to take out Kershsaw, after he had made 132 pitches. The crowd gives him a well deserved standing ovation as he leaves.
Kershaw goes 8.2 innings, allowing no runs, on five hits. He walked one and whiffed eleven. Jansen is called in to get the last out. Tyler Moore was his obstacle. Jansen has no problem whiffing Moore, and the Dodgers win 2-0. Clayton Kershaw is like a jewel among a sea of smelly clams. God bless that wonderful man and his unique talent. He is the one. Yes indeed Kershaw is awesome.
Well I feel better, I’m sure you all do too. We sorely needed this win. Join us tomorrow night at 7 PM as Stacie will cover Zack Greinke’s return to the mound at Dodger Stadium in the rubber match of the three game series. Washington will counter with Ross Detwiler. Join us then. Go Blue.