The Dodgers had dropped six games in a row, lost back to back series’, and were in danger of dropping out of first place in the .500 Division, the NL West. If anybody could stop the skid and right the ship, the best pitcher on planet Earth could do it – and he did.
Clayton Kershaw stepped to the Dodger Stadium mound and made quite an opening statement! Three strike outs – each more dominant than the last.
Manager Dave Roberts, also trying to pull strings and engineer a win, took Yasiel Puig, who was caught up in a spinning whirlpool of first-pitch outs, and handed him the lead off reigns. Puig, being Puig, immediately popped up the first pitch he saw.
The next two Dodgers went, as Vinny said it, “Very quietly…as usual these days.”
Kershaw vs Padres: 6 down in a row.
A.J. Ellis came up with one out, and stroked a Dodgers double to CF!
Kershaw, as he so often must do, aided his cause with an RBI single. 1-0.
3rd inning Dodgers 1-0
Kershaw vs Padres: 9 down in a row on 41 pitches.
4th inning Dodgers 1-0
Kershaw vs Padres: 12 down in a row. Kershaw was looking deadly serious.
5th inning Dodgers 1-0
With two out, Al Ramirez hit a single into the right field corner. Because he’s fast, he tried to leg it into a double.
And then Puig happened!
Because Puig is Puig, he came up firing, and gunned Ramirez down.
Talk about Kershaw and a no-hitter was dead, but the runner was out.
7th inning Dodgers 1-0
After 7, the Kershaw report: No runs, 3 hits, 10 Ks, 81 pitches
8th inning Dodgers 1-0
Kershaw vs Padres
After a small threat with two base runners in the previous inning, Clayton very efficiently put away the Padres. Pitch count: 90
A.J. walked, and up came Kershaw. It was his show today.
Kershaw struck out, bringing up Puig. Yasiel grounded into a force out, ending his lead off stint at 0 for 4, but he played a very important role in the game with his excellent throw to stop a Padres double, shutting down the threat, and saving the game.
9th inning Dodgers 1-0
Kershaw vs Padres: Three up, three down. 101 pitches
In one of our LADR comments/discussions, someone earlier said, “Kershaw thinks he can strike everybody out.” Yeah, that’s because he can.
Clayton Kershaw (3-1) went 9 innings, with 3 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 14 K’s. ERA 1.96
Double: A.J. Ellis
Team with RISP: 1 for 3