Clayton Kershaw‘s final start of the season was delayed by almost 30 minutes for rain that never showed up, and didn’t threaten enough to even have the grounds crew put the tarp on the field. The only thing it looked like was a cheap excuse to give the Rockies time to celebrate their wildcard hopes staying alive.
We’ll never know if the delay threw Clayton Kershaw off kilter, but something did, because he was hammered early and often by the Rockies. He allowed baserunners in each of the first three innings, many of them with two-strike hits. Kershaw gave up a single, a double and a home run in the second, to quickly put the Dodgers into a three-run hole.
Kershaw pitched a clean inning fourth inning, but that was his prearranged inning limit, so he was done for the night. He gave up 7 hits, 3 runs, 2 stolen bases and a home run. It wasn’t pretty.
In the top of the fifth, Curtis Granderson got on with an opposite field, beat-the-shift single, and Yasiel Puig followed that up with a two run home run to tie the game at three apiece.
Tony Watson took over for Kershaw in the fifth, and he went scoreless for his 16th time in 17 appearances.
In the seventh, the Rockies hit Yasiel Puig to start off the inning . They followed that up by plunking Chase Utley (the Rockies also plunked Justin Turner hard in the elbow back in the third). Joc Pederson moved the runners into scoring position with a weak grounder, and Chris Taylor brought Puig home with a sharp ground out up the middle. Taylor’s hit might have gone through for a single, but the pitcher slowed it down with his mitt as it passed him. The Dodgers were now in front for the first time, 4-3.
After Watson’s scoreless fourth, the Dodgers shuttled out Brandon Morrow (who got the win), Brock Stewart, and Tony Cingrani through to the eighth. Pedro Baez then got the ball and the task of holding off the Rockies for Kenley Jansen. In his favor, Baez was only facing scrubs, as Colorado had sat all of their starters by this time. After two quick Ks, Dave Roberts pulled Baez and went right to Jansen for a four-out save. There was a small, but telling moment when Baez and Roberts smiled at each other as the skipper headed out to the mound. Jansen closed out the inning.
Puig led off the ninth with a single, and Chase Utley rapped out a double to CF. The Wild Horse got on his horse and brought home the insurance run. Jansen closed things out in the ninth, and the Dodgers racked up their LA record 103rd win. They beat the Rockies 5-3.
Yasiel Puig still raking! 2 for 2 tonight. A home run and he scored 4 of tonight’s 5 runs.
Ouch! JT takes the LA record for HBP with 19, breaking Alex Cora‘s record.
Don’t look now: Granderson with a six-game hitting streak.
More good news: The Indians lost today, giving the best record in baseball and home field advantage through the World Series to the Dodgers.
Happy Birthday to Kenley! He’s hit the big three-oh.