Clayton Kershaw is virtually unhittable right now, and I don’t think I have ever seen such a dominant stretch by a pitcher like Kershaw’s current reign of dominance. After pitching eight innings and only allowing two measly hits, Kershaw picked up his tenth victory on the season and notched 36 consecutive scoreless innings. Orel Hershiser, now in the booth for the Dodgers, was watching. Do you think Kershaw can make a run at the Bulldog’s record? It is a record which I thought could never be broken… until I saw Clayton Kershaw pitch.
The Dodgers offense was in full attack mode with the bewildered Jair Jurrjens on the mound. The Rockies, desperate for pitching, just signed Jurrjens on. They threw him into the fire to face baseball god Clayton Kershaw in his first start for the team, and it couldn’t have gone worse for Colorado. The Dodgers bombed the Rockies and had a season-high 19 hits. Yasiel Puig and Scott Van Slyke both hit booming homeruns, and the Dodgers totally dominated the Rockies in every way on this memorable Fourth of July.
Every Dodger in the lineup had at least one hit. Dee Gordon and Andre Ethier each had three hits, and Van Slyke drove in three himself. If there ever was a lop-sided game, it was this one. Kershaw and Jurrjens are really at opposite points in their respective careers. Kershaw, at the top of his game, and Jurrjens trying to fight his way back.
Independence Day was perfectly patriotic for the Dodgers, and they sparked a great shutout win. The Giants keep losing and the Dodgers keep winning. Isn’t that the American way?
Dodgers 9 19 1
Rockies 0 2 0
WP- Kershaw (10-2)
LP- Jurrjens (0-1)
HR- Puig (12), Van Slyke (8)
Boom! The fireworks start early in Colorado on the Fourth of July. Dee Gordon bunts for a lead-off single off Jair Jurrjens in the top of the first. Yasiel Puig then crushes a line drive two-run homerun into the waterfall in center field, and the Dodgers jump ahead 2-0. Hanley Ramirez then hits a nice double to left field, and Hanley looks good running the bases even though he’s been dealing with a calf issue. Adrian Gonzalez pops out to short for the first out. Scott Van Slyke, who is playing in left field for Matt Kemp tonight, strikes out swinging. Andre Ethier then strokes a triple to the center field gap, and Hanley comes in to score the third run of the inning for the Dodgers. That’s Dre’s fourth triple of the season. The inning finally ends as Juan Uribe strikes out swinging, but the Dodgers sparkle in the first with three runs.
The Dodgers go down quietly in the top of the second inning, and it looks like Jurrjens has settled down a bit.
SVS makes a nice catch on a line drive by Justin Morneau for the first out of the bottom of the second. Drew Stubbs strikes out. Michael McKenry grounds out, and that’s another scoreless inning for Kersh.
Puig and Hanley both ground out in the third. Adrian Gonzalez goes the other way to avoid the shift for a two-out single. Rutledge makes a nice play at short to rob Van Slyke of a hit to end the inning.
In the bottom of the third, we witness a very rare Kershaw error. DJ LeMahieu singles with one out. Jurrjens gets down a sacrifice bunt, and Kershaw picks it up but makes a bad throw to Dee who is covering first. The ball gets away, and all the runners are safe on the error. With Blackmon at the plate, Jurrjens is picked off by Kershaw. Then Kershaw, the competitor that he is, rears back to strike out Blackmon to end the inning. His mistake isn’t cashed in by Colorado, and Kersh now has pitched 31 consecutive scoreless innings.
Andre Ethier collects his second hit of the game, a lead-off single in the top of the fourth. Juan Uribe erases Dre’s single by grounding into a double play. A.J. Ellis singles to right. Kershaw grounds out to end the inning.
Kershaw sets them down in order in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a firecracker play at third base by Juan Uribe. Uribe backhands a grounder by Arenado and makes a big rainbow throw to first to get him! Truly impressive. Ethier also makes a nice catch in center to retire Morneau and to conclude another scoreless frame for the ace southpaw.
Gordon leads off the fifth with a little dribbler single which barely rolls up the third base line. With Hanley at-bat, Dee Gordon steals his 41st stolen base of the season. Hanley is then hit with a pitch on his left hand. Why does Hanley always get hit? Why on his hands? Stan Conte looks at him briefly, but Hanley seems to be okay for now. Gonzalez flies to right, and Gordon goes to third. Ramirez steals second with SVS at bat. Van Slyke then wallops a three-run homerun to left field, and the Dodgers now lead 6-0. Ethier walks, and Uribe singles on a ball to deep short. A.J. drives in another run on a clean single up the middle. Clayton Kershaw joins the fun, and he singles home Uribe for the fifth run of the inning! Jair Jurrjens time has finally come to an end. Chad Bettis, a right-hander, will take over for Colorado. The Dodgers still have two on with two outs. Gordon gets his third hit of the game, another little dribbler up the third base line and his batting average is back up to .300. Puig grounds out to second base, and the inning finally comes to a close but not before the Dodgers hang a high five on the board.
Jair Jurrjens pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed 8 runs on 12 hits with 3 strikeouts and 1 walk on 99 pitches.
Other than a walk to Drew Stubbs, Kershaw doesn’t allow any hits nor runs once again in the bottom of the fifth.
Kershaw sends the Rockies down in order in the bottom of the sixth.
A.J. Ellis doubles in the bottom of the seventh. It’s nice to see A.J. in the mix again, and the catcher collects three hits during the night with a RBI. Kershaw singles after A.J., and that’s the pitcher’s second hit of the game. Kershaw raises his batting average to .241 and makes a case for a Silver Slugger Award for this season so far with his bat. The Dodgers strand A.J. at third after Gordon strikes out and Puig grounds out.
Matt Belisle comes out of the Colorado bullpen in the eighth. Gonzo singles with one out, and Ethier singles with two outs, but once again the Dodgers strand a man on third when Uribe grounds out.
Kershaw is pure dynamite. He once again retires the side in order in the bottom of the eighth.
Clayton Kershaw has now has pitched 36 consecutive scoreless innings. He allowed just 2 hits with 8 strikeouts and a walk on 93 pitches. His E.R.A. is now 1.85.
The Dodgers find one last unused firecracker at the bottom of the box in the top of the ninth inning. Rex Brothers starts off the frame by striking out A.J. Miguel Rojas, pinch-hitting for Kershaw, draws a walk. Dee Gordon follows suit and also draws a walk. Puig flies out. Erisbel Arruebarrena singles to center field, and the Dodgers’ ninth run of the game comes home with Rojas!
With such a big lead, Don Mattingly will bring in Jamey Wright to get the last three outs. Wright allows the lead-off walk to Blackmon. He strikes out Rutledge, and Nolan Arenado grounds into the game ending double play!
The Dodgers improve to 50-39 and gain a game on the Giants who lost to the red hot Padres earlier in the day. The Dodgers are now 1 1/2 games ahead of San Francisco. Dan Haren will go up against Jorge De La Rosa on Saturday afternoon at Coors Field for Game 3.