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Kershaw Returns to Snap Losing Streak. Dodgers (Barely) Win 1-0

How long has it been since we last saw Clayton Kershaw atop the mound? After five long weeks, the greatest pitcher of a generation returned to lead his team, and as he has done countless times throughout his storied career, he stopped a Dodgers losing streak.

The man was brilliant tonight. He had to be, because the anemic Dodgers’ offense only gave him one run to work with. On top of that, they took their sweet time and didn’t even score that lonely run until Kershaw’s sixth and final inning.

Despite the injection of new blood into the Dodgers dugout, there really wasn’t any type of spark generated by the newcomers. September call ups, Alex Verdugo and O’Koyea Dickson, were joined by Andre Ethier, but the limited offensive fireworks were delivered by the usual suspects.

Justin Turner (who ended the night an impressive 3-4) led off the sixth with a base hit. Cody Bellinger followed with a single. After two outs, Chase Utley reached down and poked a single over and out to the grass, and Turner came home with the only run of the night.

JT had a good night at the plate, and thankfully Yasiel Puig continued to avoid chasing junk, but that’s what every other Dodgers batter did tonight – chase junk.

Is that pitch up around my eyes? Swing and a miss. Is that pitch bouncing in the dirt? Swing and a miss. Give some credit to the Padres pitcher, but c’mon, boys. If your body feels awkward when you’re swinging, that was probably not a good pitch to chase.

Back to the good news about Clayton. His pitch count was very good, he was in control all night (only one 3-ball count), and one single fly ball. of course, he tallied his share of strike outs, nailing seven Padres.

The rest of the bullpen was tasked with holding on to a one-run lead, and they were magnificent. Brandon Morrow struck out the side in the seventh, Tony Watson pitched a scoreless eighth, and of course, Kenley Jansen came on to nail down his 36th save of the season.

With some luck, the Dodgers can build on this win and make it a three-game winning streak in one day. They will play a double-header tomorrow with the Padres, starting at 11 am PST tomorrow morning. Morning Dodgers baseball after a Kershaw win. I love it.

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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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.

5 thoughts on “Kershaw Returns to Snap Losing Streak. Dodgers (Barely) Win 1-0

  1. Vintage Kershaw. Complete miserable performance once again by the offense. Turner did fine and gained ground on Charlie Blackmon. Magic number gets reduced by one. Utley was clutch this time, everyone else was lousy. Taylor allowed himself to get picked off again and was thrown out stealing with 2 outs. Not very smart baseball. Captain Clutch returned and grounded out hitting for CK in the 7th. Utley with a clutch single in the 6th to plate Turner, but they wasted Justin’s double later on. Kershaw was absolutely brilliant. 13 Padres struck out. But 12 Dodgers struck out including Grandal and Taylor 3 times apiece. Taylor had 2 hits, one a real squibber down the line. When he did not get a hit, he struck out. Verdugo’s MLB debut was less than stellar. He did draw a walk, and did not strike out, one of the few but since there were no balls hit to the OF, we could not see the defense we have been told he brings. None of the other call ups saw action. I do not know about you, but I play Utley over Forsythe any day. Chase is a true pro and has quality at bats.

    1. There is no doubt that Utley has the goods and will probably see more work in the playoffs. Hernandez, who can play various positions, seems to get on base very seldom. Given the choice, it’s Utley.

      We can see the Dodger batting woes continuing even thought they got 9 hits. They are not knocking in runs and have slowed noticeably in the long ball department. Without Kershaw’s stellar arm, would we have won this tight game?

      We need Corey back. Good to see Ethier but will he be able to contribute. Like Agone, solid career but sliding into oblivion.

      I won’t be surprised if Stewart gives up early runs tomorrow. I have little confidence in him as a starter.

      Michael, one of the things you mentioned in an earlier thread that got my attention is the fact that Ryu takes a long time to warm up his arm in games. This is a kiss of death as a reliever and I can see why the Dodgers are not keen on him in the bullpen. I could live with him as #5 SP, but why? Can he really come back to his earlier form?

      Darvish-25HR’s given up. He hasn’t been an ace since 2013 and going downhill from there. Don’t know what his problems are.

      1. Jeff

        I don’t remember Michael mentioning that about Ryu, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t, but I did mention that Honeycutt has said it takes Ryu way to long to get ready to pitch, to be good out of the bullpen.

        Remember Darvish had TJ surgery in 2015, and Honeycutt had Darvish change his mechanics, so it will take him some time to adjust.

        Michael Verdugo didn’t have many chances to do anything, so I don’t know if I would rate his performance yet.

        I agree that Granderson should be hitting lower in the line up, as well as Grandal, because they are far to easy to strike out.

        And I don’t know why Grandal waited until he had two strikes to swing, when we needed to move Turner over to third.

        But Grandal wasn’t the only one that didn’t do their job, to move a runner over to third.

        Grandal is much to easy to strike out, when a pitcher throws him a curve or off speed pitch, especially after a fastball.

        Those mistakes that Taylor is making, might be because he is getting a little worn out.

        I don’t think he has played an entire major league season almost full time, like he has this year.

        But he does have to do better on the bases.

        And Agone didn’t play last night, so he is not the problem on offense, he probably would have done a better job, of moving a runner over, or hitting a run in.

        The positive things about last night’s game, was of course Kershaw, who didn’t miss a beat.

        And Turner who seems to be back on track, and our bullpen did another good job last night too.

        1. I was just commenting on the fact that the debut was less than inspiring. When he did swing at the ball he did not make solid contact. But he was not alone in that department. It was MJ who mentioned the long time it takes Ryu to warm up. The thing about Ryu is that he started very shaky, then had some really good outings. Then back to shaky. But for a guy who has been out for two years, he has been pretty good. As for Stewart, that last start he was sick. He probably should not have even been out there. He pitched well out of the bullpen, and there is plenty of backup if he gets in trouble. And this is the Padres, not the Pirates. Darvish is young, I doubt his career is over or that he is on a downhill slide. His biggest problem has been not being efficient, and he probably is overthinking out there. And he is in a new league. Always a challenge. He will be fine. MJ, Taylor is not in the lineup for the first game……Forsythe, 2B Barnes, C Hernandez, SS, Bellinger, 1B, Puig, RF, Segedin, 3B Dickson, LF, Verdugo, CF, Stewart P.

  2. Font selected from OKC, Jordan Jankowski DFA’d. That’s 3 players from the 40 man jettisoned in 2 days. Jankowski, Ysla, and Eibner. Eibner of course is injured and could not play anyway, both Jankowski and Ysla were FAZ waiver wire pick ups. Roster fodder is another word for what they were. I just checked the standings. Dodgers are 11 games better than DC, 16 better than the Cubbies, and 16 games up on the D-Backs. They have 29 games left. All but 7 of them in the division, and most of the division games are against the weaker teams, SD, SF, and Colorado. The D-Backs have lost 17 more games than the Dodgers have, so in order to overtake LA, They have to win at least 20 of the games remaining and have the Dodgers totally tank and go say 8-21. That ain’t gonna happen. By the way MJ, Verdugo left 4 men on base. So the opportunity to drive in some insurance runs was there.

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