Kershaw Magnificent, Bats Return. Greinke and Dbacks, Empty Props

The Dodgers were starting this weekend series in dire need of a shot of confidence and a win – any kind of win. 

Clayton Kershaw is exactly what the blue doctor ordered, and he took to the mound in tonight’s opening game against old friend Zack Greinke and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Kershaw began the night as advertised, by sitting the first six Arizona  batters he faced.

Yasiel Puig came up in the second inning with the Dodgers first shot at scoring. He stepped in against Greinke with men on second and third and one out. He walked to load the bases for Kershaw. The Dodgers scoring woes continued as Kershaw grounded into a double play, leaving the bases full, and the stadium deflated, as the home crowd feared the Dodgers’ scoring drought might continue at home. 

Earlier Zack Greinke was quoted as saying he was looking forward to facing Kershaw. He said he wanted to see just how “nasty” Kershaw is. Greinke got his chance when he came up to hit in the third inning. Kershaw quickly struck him out (for his second K of the inning).

The Dodgers got on the board in their half of the third, when Adrian Gonzalez knocked in a run with a base hit.

The singles hit parade continued when Logan Forsythe brought a run home. Dodgers up 2-0. 

The Dodgers got on the scoring train once again in the fourth with a pair of two out singles and a two RBI double in the left-field corner by Justin Turner. 

At the end of four, it was Dodgers 4, Dbacks Zilch. 

The boys small balled another run in the fifth, with Yasiel Puig picking up an RBI sac fly. Dodgers 5-0. Clayton Kershaw checked in at five Ks, 1 hit and just 60 pitches. 

He then took over and mowed down the Diamondbacks like they were dry Arizona weeds. He was under 90 pitches at the end of eight, so the skipper let the ace take the ball for a complete game. 

But before that happened, Andrew Toles belted an eight inning, line drive, home run to centerfield to put the Dodgers up 7-0. 

Kershaw took the mound for the Dodgers’ first shot at a complete game with 87 pitches and only two hits under his belt. Unfortunately, he lost the shutout and his complete game on a single and a double. Kersh went out leading 7-1.

The Dbacks managed to tap into the Dodgers’ bullpen, and they got Pedro Baez, for his first outing this year. Baez walked Paul Goldschmidt and then put up the final two outs to win a much-needed, feel-good game for the Dodgers.

Kershaw (2-1) went 8 and 1/3 innings with 4 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, and 8 Ks. ERA 2.53

Atta Boy!: Kershaw retired the first ten batters he faced, before giving up a base hit and a walk in the fourth. He then went on to sit another eleven in a row. 

Home run: Andrew Toles

Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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29 thoughts on “Kershaw Magnificent, Bats Return. Greinke and Dbacks, Empty Props

    1. Toles does have surprising power for a little guy and he now has as many homers as he had last year. But when the weather heats up, Gonzo will pass him with ease. Most of the guys had great AB’s tonight, they made Zack pay when he made a mistake. Puig had 3 very good AB’s and one bad one. But all in all a fine game. I think sending Kersh out for the 9th was a mistake. CG’s do not mean as much as they used to , but I know why Roberts let Kersh try. Why they keep Hatcher is a mystery, but someone has to go down when Hill is activated Sunday. Your guess is probably better than mine because I cut the Hatchet man loose. Maybe Ryu goes to the 10 day, who knows. Sad story out of Mesa Az. Todd Heap former tight end in the NFL accidentally ran over his 3 year old daughter and killed her….prayers for the family.

      1. Michael

        That is just terrible I don’t know how Heap will ever be able to get that, out of his mind.

        Fathers and daughters, have such a special relationship, that is terrible.

        1. That same thing happened to my uncle MJ. He was backing out of his driveway and backed over his little girl. She was 2 1/2 at the time. It caused the breakup of his marriage because his wife never forgave him for it. And it caused him to have a drinking problem for a lot of years. It happened in 1956.

    2. Bluto

      Why go after Agone who has been a good player for us.

      He hit in the first two runs last night, and there are not many of the young players on the team, that can hit in runs, like Agone does.

      In fact I hope they are all taking notes, from Agone.

      I know you don’t usually do that, but to many people forget how good he has been for us.

      I was just thinking this morning, can you imagine where our offense would be, if Turner hadn’t turned into the player he is today.

      1. Might have something to do with that declining skills comment made the other day after AG did not come off the bag to grab Seager’s throw, but Seager did the same thing last night and Gonzo made the grab and the out.

      2. Who is going after Gonzalez?

        Are we not allowed to observe power declines at a position associated with power?

        Past performance is just that.

        1. Bluto

          That is why I said that you don’t usually say anything about that.

          I know you are just a numbers guy.

          We all know he is not 100 percent, and is getting older, but he is still important to the team.

          Not many here say stuff like that, they mainly just want him moved down, in the line up, which might be better, but I am not sure about that.

          Because there are not to many hitters on the team, that are able to hit in runs, like Agone.

          And our offense has a problem scoring sometimes, and don’t attack offense as a team, to get runs home.

          They need to manufactor runs better, when hits and runs, are hard to get.

        2. If it’s any sort of comfort, at least he was pulling the ball last night. Up till now most of his at-bats seemed to be slap singles to LF. Maybe it’s the elbow, maybe it’s the lack of a full spring training. Maybe pitchers are just pitching him away.
          Like I said maybe last night was a sign of good things to come for Agon.

          1. Artie boy

            All of those things might be true, but sometimes people under rate singles, especially with people on base.

          2. As my Red Sox are showing this year, you need power.

            It’s the day and age of power.

            Gonzalez is a great, professional hitter. Use whatever cliche you’d like. But you need power from 1st base, 3rd base, 2nd base and the corner OF.

            I have concerns (only concerns) that Gonzalez is dropping off quickly.

    3. Earlier in his career, Gonzalez had power to all fields. In the last couple of years he had lost the ability to hit balls out to the opposite field, and he was getting his power from pulling the ball. Now, I’m not sure he has the bat speed to get around to pull balls, so now he’s possibly more a dinker, opposite field singles hitter.

      1. Dodger Patch

        That may be true about Agone, but he sure turned on a high fastball, in a really bad location last year, on Greinke.

        I think he is still probably dealing with a sore elbow.

  1. I think Kershaw needs to mature and know, when it is best for him to come out of a game, when he doesn’t really have it anymore, or to save the miles on his arm, in the long regular season.

    I love that he wants the ball all of the time, but I don’t like in the post season, when Kershaw needs to come out, because he doesn’t have it, and he wants to stay in.

    It sometimes seems like people want Kershaw to get that monkey off his back in post season so badly, that they want him to conquer the seventh inning, and that isn’t usually best, for the team.

    I hope Roberts learned something last year, when it comes to Kershaw, and the seventh inning, in the post season, especially now that our bullpen guys, are better.

    Because not only did Kershaw melt in the seventh inning against the Nationals in that game at Dodger stadium, he was lucky against the Cubs, when Baez’s hit, didn’t go out.

    And often in those seventh innings in the post season, when Kershaw is allowed to stay in, he has allowed to many hitters to get on, and that makes it even harder on the pen, to bail Kershaw, and the team out.

    Because it is more important for the team to win the game, then to allow Kershaw a chance, to get that post season monkey off his back.

    And ultimately that will help Kershaw to get his era in the post season down, and if the team makes it even farther, Kershaw will feel even better.

        1. I know his post season record is 4-7. In games they needed to win to stay alive he has gotten plastered. Not just beat but hammered. That never happened to Koufax. His worst post season loss was 6-0 against the Orioles, but 4 of those runs were unearned because Willie D made 3 errors in the same inning. When Greinke lost the deciding game to the Mets, it was by 1 run.

      1. I beg to differ…..post season record…4-7 in 18 games with 14 of them being starts. Has given up 10 HR’s in those 18 games and walked 27 while striking out 106, far below his regular season averages. His ERA is 4.55 and he has a 1.16 WHIP. He pitched in 5 games last year and had a 2-1 record and one save. That is the only time he has won 2 games during the post season. His post season ERA last year was 4.44.. and the reason was in the game 6 start against the Cubs he got hammered. In 2014 his ERA was over 7. Not exactly ace like stats. He has had a couple of brilliant starts, but he has not been the same shut down ace he is in the regular season. The stats do not lie. He has been pedestrian in the post season.

      2. By comparison, Koufax was 4-3 over 8 games, 7 of which were starts. His ERA was 0.95 with 11 walks 61 strikeouts and only 2 homers allowed. In 1966 he lost the only game he pitched, there were 4 runs scored against him with only 1 being earned. In the 8 games he pitched in his 4 world series, he only gave up 10 runs, 6 of which were earned. That’s how an ace pitches in the post season. Kershaw has a long way to go to be close to those kinds of numbers. His ERA in any of those 4 appearances was never over 1.50. Drysdale was 3-3 in the postseason had an ERA of 3.00

        1. Michael

          That is what makes the difference, in Kershaw and Koufax.

          And the fact that that idiot on the Giants, has pitched so dominately in the post season, makes it even worse for Dodger fans.

          When Kershaw can’t dominate in the post season, like he can, in the regular season.

          I think Vinny told us what the difference was, in Kershaw and Bumgarner, in almost every game, they faced each other.

          Vinny would say that Bumgarner doesn’t seem to have to use the same energy behind his pitches, that Kershaw does.

    1. Leaving him in to pitch the 9th served no useful purpose other than to give Baez the work with men on base. And of course he walked his first batter. He came back nicely, but he should have been out there to start the inning…that’s my opinion.

      1. Michael

        I agree with you on both of those points.

        Baez should never have to come in a game, with people on the bases.

        Remember when Baez came in, in that seventh inning against the Nats in the post season, after Kershaw I think filled the bases, and then Baez came in, and hit the batter.

        And that either caused a run to come in, or he filled the bases.

  2. I actually wouldn’t be so sure that Agone winds up with more hr than Toles. Toles has a small strike zone, and when the ball is in that zone, he has some impressive power.

    Agone to me now looks like James Loney when we had him. I think he could be fine with 10-15 hr this year, IF he had more doubles and drove in 80-90.

    1. Gonzo did the same thing last year. He started off slow, only had 5 homers through May. I think he still hits close to 20. I doubt Toles gets enough AB’s to hit that many. When Andre returns, someone is going to the minors, and you can bet he will be a LH hitter.

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