Yankees Save the Best For Last- Pitching Spectacular Features Kershaw, Kuroda, and Mariano Rivera

Dodgers 0 6 1

Yankees 3 6 0

WP- Logan (3-2)

LP- Belisario (4-6)

S- Rivera (34)

Before the game Vin Scully made a historic tribute for Yankee legend Mariano Rivera. After the touching ceremony which featured Magic Johnson, the Dodgers and Yankees got underway in their last game of four meetings this season.

 

Clayton Kershaw counters his old teammate Hiroki Kuroda in game two vs. Yankees. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It was a perfect pitcher’s duel. Clayton Kershaw versus former Dodger and Japanese All-Star Hiroki Kuroda. I miss Kuroda, and I wish that Ned Colletti had found a way to re-sign him instead of opting for Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano. I would have preferred a rotation with Nathan Eovaldi and Hiroki Kuroda last season, but that was the past.

Wednesday evening was a night dedicated to pitching. The pre-game Mariano Rivera ceremony was concluded with a fine pitching duel between two historic teams. Kershaw only allowed 3 hits and Kuroda 5 over the first 7 innings. Neither starting pitcher would be involved in the decision.

The Yankees bullpen outshined the Dodgers relief staff this time. Ronald Belisario walked two and allowed two runs in the ninth inning, and Paco Rodriguez had a bad night while allowing the inherited runners to score. Once Mariano Rivera came in with a three run lead, the script was already written. In what probably is his last time pitching at Dodger Stadium, Rivera strikes out two in the perfect inning for the save.

Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw opens the game with one of his signature strikeouts against Brett Gardner. Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano both groundout to third and first respectively.

Hiroki Kuroda also starts off his inning, the bottom of the first, with a strikeout against Carl Crawford. Yasiel Puig flies out to center, and Adrian Gonzalez grounds out to end the inning. It looks as if the runs are going to be at a premium tonight with Kershaw and Kuroda pitching.

Kershaw begins the top of the second with another whiff. This time Alfonso Soriano goes down swinging. Vernon Wells hits a long single to right. Puig makes a diving attempt at the ball, and he is able to trap the ball and throw it back in very fast preventing Wells from trying for a double. Brent Lillibridge singles up the middle, and Wells was off and running on contact and makes it to third. Jayson Nix pops out, and Chris Stewart hits into a force out to end the threat. That should have been a lot easier for Kershaw who has already made 35 pitches.

In the bottom of the third, Andre Ethier singles to center with one out. A.J. Ellis grounds into a double play.

Hiroki Kuroda pitched 7 scoreless innings in his return to Dodger Stadium. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

 

Hiroki Kuroda strikes out against Kershaw to lead-off the top of the third for New York. Gardner and Jeter both ground out.

Skip Schumaker draws a lead-off walk in the home half of the third. Uribe grounds out, and Schumaker advances to second. Kershaw flies out to left field foul territory, and Skip has to hold at second.

In the top of the fourth, Soriano singled with one out, but Kershaw picks him off trying to steal second with Lillibridge at-bat!

Kuroda pitches another 1-2-3 inning for the bottom of the fourth. I sure do miss Kuroda. Puig grounds out, and Gonzo and Hanley both strike out against the Japanese right-hander.

Clayton Kershaw once again shows off his amazing skills, and he retires the Yankees in order in the top of the fifth. This is a perfect pitcher’s duel.

The Dodgers finally get their second hit of the game in the bottom of the fifth. A.J. Ellis singles to center with one out. Schumaker strikes out on a foul tip. Uribe flies out to left to end the frame. The game remains scoreless through five.

Gardner strikes out looking at Public Enemy #1 with one out in the top of the sixth. He’s Kersh’s third strikeout victim. Kershaw pitches another 1-2-3 inning.

The Dodgers go down in order in the bottom of the sixth. Derek Jeter makes a nice catch to rob Crawford of a hit.

Cano lines out to Gonzalez, and Soriano strikes out in the top of the seventh. Hanley makes another strong throw to get Wells out at first to end the inning.

Adrian Gonzalez makes a horrible base running mistake in the bottom of the seventh. He singles down the right field line, but for some unknown reason goes for two. He is out for a mile as Vernon Wells easily throws him out at second. Why, Adrian? Hanley strikes out swinging. Ethier collects his second hit of the night with a two-out single. A.J. Ellis singles to right, and the Dodgers have three hits in the inning but nothing to show for it. Skip Schumaker strikes out as the tiring yet dedicated Kuroda rears back on his 103rd pitch to whiff Skip and end the scoring threat by the Dodgers.

Hiroki Kuroda pitched 7 scoreless innings while allowing 5 runs and striking out 8 and walking 1.

In the eighth, Chris Stewart gets a two-out single. Pinch hitting for Kuroda, Melky Mesa singles to left. Kershaw finally gets Gardner to fly out to left, and he escapes the jam.

Boone Logan, a lefty, will relieve Kuroda for the bottom of the eighth inning. Uribe leads off with a single. Clayton Kershaw is called upon to lay down a successful  bunt, and of course he does. Uribe is now at second. That was smart by Mattingly to leave Kersh in there since the rest of the team is so horrible at bunting. Crawford flies out. Logan intentionally walks Puig, but Gonzo flies out to squander the scoring opportunity.

 

July 31, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (2) misses catching a hit in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Ronald Belisario will come in to pitch the top of the ninth in the scoreless game. Belisario promptly walks Jeter. Eduardo Nunez will pinch-run for Jeter. That could have been Jeter’s final at-bat at Dodger Stadium. Cano grounds into a force out, and the Dodgers are unable to turn the double play. Soriano grounds out to third. Belisario intentionally walk Ichiro Suzuki. Mattingly will go to Paco to face Lyle Overbay with two on and two outs.  There is a questionable call on a check swing on a 0-2 count to Overbay, and Mattingly ends up getting tossed over arguing with the third base umpire Bill Miller. That would be Mattingly’s second ejection of the season, and the play would end up being crucial since Overbay proceeds to singles to center, and the Yankees score a run as Cano comes home. 1-0 New York. That’s a rare run which is allowed by Paco. Nix reaches on a fielding error by Mark Ellis, but the mistake was really Puig’s. Mark Ellis goes out to shallow right field and calls the ball, but Puig bumps into MEllis which causes him to drop the ball. Two runs come in on the costly error. Brandon League is brought in, and Stewart is retired for the final out. The Yankees take a 3-0 lead, and you know who will be coming in for the bottom of the ninth.

Clayton Kershaw pitched 8 shutout innings and allowed 5 hits while striking out 5 and walking none on 97 pitches.

Mariano Rivera will pitch his final inning at Dodger Stadium before retirement. Hanley strikes out against Rivera. Ethier strikes out. A.J. Ellis grounds out. Rivera only needs 12 pitches to shut the Dodgers down in the ninth and pick up the save.

Arizona had already won earlier, so after this series split and loss to the Yankees the Dodgers lose a game in the standings and are now 2 1/2 games ahead. They are 57-49 on the season.

Mariano Rivera comes into the game from the Yankee bullpen at Dodger Stadium in the ninth inning. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

 

Now the Dodgers head off to Chicago for a four-game set in Wrigley Field. Last time the Dodgers played at Wrigley Field, Matt Kemp injured his hamstring. Ricky Nolasco will face Chris Rusin. July comes to an end, and even though it was with a loss on the final day we can be excited for August. July was a great month for the Dodgers, but they will need to continue to win in order to make a run for the division crown.

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Tags: Clayton Kershaw Hiroki Kuroda Los Angeles Dodgers Mariano Rivera New York Yankees

  • Guest

    Lilly is very good at times when he’s healthy, but his chronic neck issue prevents him from staying off the DL for any length of time.

    • LasordasLair

      I’ve actually said that before. But unfortunately he is unable to stay healthy