It was game two of three against the helpless Braves, and the pitcher with the golden arm was taking the mound for the Dodgers.
You would be laughed out of Vegas if you tried to bet against Clayton Kershaw in this one, but the ominous clouds wafting over Chavez Ravine, darkened from a wildfire somewhere in Malibu, reminded that anything can happen.
They went quickly and Kershaw was standing atop three strikeouts after two innings.
Joc Pederson broke an 0 for 20 hitless streak with an impressive double into the right field corner. Unfortunately, it came with two out, and the Dodgers left him there.
Clayton Kershaw – Single, advanced to second on a walk, and up came a guy who wouldn’t know a hit if it sat next to him on the team bus – Justin Turner.
Base hit, JT! Kershaw was running on the pitch, so he scored the Dodgers first run – as he so often does whenever he pitches.
4th inning Dodgers 1-0
With men on the corners and two out, up came one-man-gang Kershaw.
Howie Kendrick stole second to make it men on second and third.
Eventually, as Vinny said it, “All that running and scurrying and hurrying winds up, no runs.”
6th inning Dodgers 1-0
This was the first real challenge Kershaw faced in the game. The Braves got two on with one out, but Kershaw pitched his way out of it. It turned out to be his last inning.
7th inning Dodgers 1-0
Joe Blanton in for the Dodgers. Job done.
8th inning Dodgers 1-0
Pedro Baez in to pitch. Job done.
With men on the corners and one out, Joc Pederson dragged a bunt past the pitcher and scored Justin Turner from third. 2-0
The Dodgers then pulled off a double steal with Thompson and Pederson.
A.J. Ellis hit a sac fly to score Trayce Thompson. 3-0
Yasmani Grandal – base hit to score another run! 4-0
9th inning Dodgers 4-0
Kenley Jansen vs Braves
Freeman: W, and then advanced when Kenley threw away the ball in play. They charged an error and gave him the base.
Jeff Francouer: F9
Jeff Markakis: K
Tyler flowers: K
Dodgers win! 4-0
Kershaw wasn’t dominant as he had been so many times in the past. By the 6th inning, he only had 4 strike pouts, and the Braves had base runners on in almost every inning. On the night of the slow Calabasas burn, Kershaw was working and earning it.
The Braves weren’t hammering Kershaw by any means, but he pitched a game that kept his defense involved.
As for the Dodgers’ offense, that consisted of mostly walks and stolen bases. Then waiting for base hits that never materialized.
That was, until the eighth inning rolled around. The Braves bullpen melted down in the inning and the Dodgers scored three big insurance runs.
Clayton Kershaw went six innings with 3 hits, o runs, 1 HBP, 1 walks, 4 K’s. ERA 1.46
Double: Joc Pederson
Team with RISP: 3 for 10