Whenever Clayton Kershaw starts at Dodger Stadium against the Giants it could be considered one of the most secure bets in baseball. Keshaw was 10-0 with a 0.65 ERA in his last ten starts at Chavez Ravine. Coming into tonight’s series opener against the Giants he was 19-8 with a 1.60 career ERA against the stupid Giants. On Monday night we saw a Kershaw that we rarely ever see. We saw the Kershaw that sucked. Well suck for Kershaw is different than any other pitcher. Kershaw “sucking” means him allowing a few runs and not pitching a shutout or striking out like 11 batters.
Tonight Kershaw was human surrendering four runs (three earned) over 6 innings as the Giants beat the Dodgers 4-3. The loss drops Kershaw to 4-2 on the season and snaps the Dodgers little four-game winning streak. Kershaw gave up 8 hits and struck out 5. Kershaw’s mound opponent Johnny Cueto limited the Dodgers to three earned runs on six hits over seven innings. He struck out 6 and walked one and improved to 4-1 on the season for San Francisco. Yeah if you thought that Cueto would have an ERA over 5 for the entire season, think again. Cueto twisted and twirled and torpedoed the Dodgers offense.
Giants 4 8 0
Dodgers 3 6 1
Kershaw just made too many mistakes tonight and the Giants were aggressive and made him pay. The Giants got to him early scoring twice in the top of the first inning before the chairs were warm. Christian Arroyo singled, and Kershaw hung a breaking ball to Hunter Pence who made him pay by depositing it into the left field pavilions to give the Giants a 2-0 lead. The Dodgers would get one back in the bottom of the first, but Pence would factor into that inning as well robbing Justin Turner of a possible home run or extra-base hit with a leaping catch against the right field wall. In that frame Andrew Toles led-off with a single and Corey Seager walked. Toles moved to third on that deep fly ball from Turner, and scored on a Yasmani Grandal grounder to make it a 2-1 game.
The Dodgers tied it up in the bottom of the second inning when star prospect Cody Bellinger doubled over the low wall in the right field corner. After Puig flied out and Chase Utley whiffed, Kershaw helped his own cause by fisting a single into left field to score Bellinger. The 21-year old rookie raced around third to score just ahead of the throw home. Yes he can run the bases too! This kid can do a lot.
With the score now tied the Giants immediately retook the lead in the top of the third inning when Kershaw hung another breaking ball to Buster Posey who crushed it over the fence for a solo home run. The Giants were now up 3-2. The Giants added another run in the fifth inning when Gorkys Hernandez reached on a bunt and advanced to second when Kershaw threw the ball away. Arroyo immediately singled him in to give the Giants a 4-2 lead.
Of course the Dodgers teased us by threatening and scoring another run to close the gap to 4-3. In the bottom of the seventh Adrian Gonzalez reached base on a grounder and Bellinger smartly be the shift with a well placed bunt that caused twitter to swoon for hours afterwards. After a force out, and the usual Utley whiff, pinch-hitter Chris Taylor banged a hit into left to score Bellinger and put the Dodgers within one run.
That was as close as the Dodgers would get. They would go down 1-2-3 in the eighth and ninth innings quietly to end the game. What a downer. The Dodgers also placed Hyun-jin Ryu on the disabled list with a sore hip. Right after he finally wins his first MLB game in over two years. Josh Fields was recalled from Oklahoma City. The Dodgers should be getting reinforcements by the next series in San Diego as a trio of Dodgers (Joc Pederson, Franklin Gutierrez, Logan Forsythe) are going to be activated from the disabled list. Don’t expect Bellinger to be with the club much longer. Justin Turner went 0 for 4 snapping his 16-game hitting streak.
In the meantime the Dodger’s series with the Giants continues as Matt Moore battles Alex Wood in a duel of southpaws on Tuesday night at 7:10 PM. At least the Dodgers are still above .500 (silver linings).
Cody Bellinger watch:
The wonder kid went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and raised his average to .320. He has a .993 OPS in 25 plate appearances.