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Kershaw Surprises Nobody, Turner Surprises Everybody! Dodgers Win 3-2

This series is important. It’s the big kahuna. The NL West is on the line and both teams were leading with their big boys on the mound.

Clayton Kershaw (8-1) and Johnny Cueto (9-1) are the top two pitchers in the National League. The Dodgers are trying to prove to the Giants they belong in the race, and the Giants have a chance to open a big lead in the standings with the All-Star break coming up fast.

1st inning
Chase Utley, the first man up, was hit by a pitch. Quickly it was two men on with no out for The Red Albatross. He made a quick out, but advanced Utley to third.
Johnny Queto balked in Chase Utley.  1-0
Adrian Gonzalez with a base hit RBI 2-0

That was a long inning for Cueto.
Matt Duffy got a hold of one and hit it out. 2-1
Believe it or not, that was only the fifth home run hit this season against Kershaw.

2nd inning  Dodgers 2-1
1,2,3 second inning

Would this be the return of the dreaded Dodgers’ “One inning and done offense”?

Spoiler Alert: Yes.

Kershaw struck out the side! At this point he had four strikeouts in two innings.

3rd inning  Dodgers 2-1
Three up, three down.
Another one, two, three inning for Kershaw.

The anticipated pitcher’s duel between Kershaw and Cueto was playing out.

4th inning  Dodgers 2-1
This brought the biggest threat of the night at this point  – men on the corners, and one out.
Kershaw got out of it.

6th inning  Dodgers 2-1
A Buster Posey two-out RBI double to CF tied the game at two apiece.

7th inning  Tie score 2-2
Nothing since the first inning.
Kershaw got his 11th K, a season high.

8th inning  2-2
Kershaw gets 13 Ks, a career high at Pac Bell.
However, the Dodgers bats had been quiet since the first.

9th inning  2-2
Justin Turner hit one out! Wow! Dodgers lead 3-2

Kenley Jansen vs Giants
Matt Duffy: PF7
Buster Posey: F7 Right up against the scoreboard.
Brandon Belt: Double
Gregor Blanco: (He’s 0 for 17, but batting .500 against Jansen)  Walk because Jansen was tentative.
Two on, two out.
Brandon Crawford: K!!!!!

Dodgers win! 3-2

The Kershaw-Cueto battle played out as advertised, with both pitchers shutting down their opponents for the majority of the game. The difference in the game was the Dodgers’ habit of scoring in the first inning combined with their last-ups, home run magic.

Kershaw achieved season and career high strike out counts on the night, but his greatest happiness came when Justin Turner revived memories of the Red Dream with his ninth inning heroics. Kershaw was shown grinning from ear to ear as Turner rounded the bases, basking in his own feelings of satisfaction after breaking away from the shackles of the Red Albatross.

A couple of days ago the Dodgers squandered a brilliant outing from Kenta Maeda when the offense did not provide the support necessary for a win. That was not the case tonight as the Dodgers called upon their late inning muse and she did not let them down. Wins like this stick with a team. They let these men know they can beat the first place team, the better team. Wins like this mean much more than the box scores show.

The Giants love to beat the Dodgers in their little splash-down stadium, but it’s nothing compared to the joy that is felt throughout the Dodgers Nation when the boys in blue beat the Giants in their own park. The victory is even sweeter when the win comes in the form of a ninth inning home run off the bat of a Dodger who sorely needed it.

As Vinny would say, “Not a bad opening act”.

Clayton Kershaw (9-1) went 8 innings with 5 hits, 2 runs, 0 walks, 13 Ks, 1 HR   ERA 1.52

Home run: Justin Turner

Double: Joc Pederson

Team with RISP: 1 for 6 Not improving, really.

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.

35 thoughts on “Kershaw Surprises Nobody, Turner Surprises Everybody! Dodgers Win 3-2

  1. Well it was not pretty but it is a W. Kershaw has given up 5 HR’s this year, 3 of them at AT&T Park. Offense stunk as usual, but I was impressed with Pederson’s hustle on that grounder that got into short RF, too bad Grandal was hitting behind him. He could not drive anyone in if he was driving a taxi! The guy is lousy….

    1. Michael
      I know your not a Grandal fan, but I thought that Grandal hit the ball hard two times last night. And he hasn’t done that, for a while.

      1. He grounded out in the 1st weakly…with 2 guys on, that was a key at bat because other than Utley getting plunked again, they did nothing until the 9th. The 2 fly balls to the OF which you are probably talking about were not hit that well. There were right at the outfielders, they were not hit that hard. He is at .189…..sorry, I would rather have Ellis in there who gives you a professional AB every time, and so far hits in the clutch much better. Game would not have been close had he simply gotten a single that first AB. Joc was not any better his first time up. You do not score with runners on 2nd and 3rd and less than 2 outs…sorry my friend, you are not doing your job. And Grandal among others has been awful.

        1. Michael
          I thought that those lines to the outfield, were hit harder, but I will trust your judgement on that.

  2. Dodgers seem really thin in their lineup. Not much hitting from their starters or utility men. How much longer can the pitching carry them? And, we all know the breakdowns that the pitching has had this season.

    There is nothing wrong with Turner as a utility man. He has a history here of being clutch, but I don’t see him as an everyday 3rd baseman. I also don’t see Kike there at 3rd. I can see Seager there defensively. I’m not sure he is a good SS, defensively. He’s got 8 errors already. In looking at his history at different positions, 3rd looks the cleanest. Can it be done? Kendrick/Utley at SS/2nd base, or bring up Culberson. When Ethier returns, let him start. He and Puig should hit better than Pederson and Hernandez. I’d be looking to package Pederson/Hernandez for a proven vet with some power and consistency. These two just haven’t been developing as expected.

    Dodgers have to make a trade for a catcher who has some kind of offensive aptitude. The current crew truly fail the grade and Grandal can’t throw base stealers out. He is abysmal. Barnes just seems weak to me.

    1. First off, Turner was made the starting 3B about 6 weeks into the season. He was great all season long until the injury slowed him down. There are few who can field the position like he does. This is a team full of utility guys, Hernandez, is nothing more than a utility player, and will probably never be a starter. Seager is a SS. He is also a rookie and as such, the errors he has made have usually been like last night’s, He did not realize he had no shot at getting the runner. Also, you are not going to switch a kid who has pretty much played SS his entire life to 3rd in the middle of the season. Utley has never played short and is 37 years old. He does not have that kind of range. They have plenty of guys who HAVE played 3rd. Utley, Hernandez, Kendrick, Turner. The problem is not who plays there, the problem is the fact that except for Seager, Gonzo, Thompson, this whole team is in a serious slump. NOBODY is hitting. Not the starters, not the scrubs. And with 2 of your better OF’s on the DL, Ethier and Puig, your offense is seriously hamstrung.

  3. You know these guys have to snap out of their slump, don’t they?

    Don’t they?

    Don’t they?

  4. Stick a fork in Zack Lee – He better try another sport… maybe football.

    4.2 IP
    10 H
    6 ER
    2 HR
    He now has a 5.13 ERA

  5. I’m still in favor of trading for Lucroy and Braun. My available list is everybody but:
    I would expect an up jump in performance from those players traded away. There is a malignancy somewhere in the Dodger Culture that seems to inhibit a lot of players.

    1. Wonder, you are living in a fantasy world my friend. They are never going to trade for Braun, and as for Lucroy, well I doubt that will happen either since Grandal is their fair haired boy.

  6. I am now more convinced than ever — that the folks on top of this organization need to make some changes soon.

    1. Roberts seems like a nice guy to be a manager, but not a real manager to win. Is there much difference than the way Donnie Boy made out the lineup’s? NO. Platoon some of the players, give them all work and forget who is hot and who is not. If a lefty handed pitcher is going against the Dodgers, put in Van Slyke, put in Kendrick, put in Hernandez, put in Thompson — then take out . . . you know the names. I do not think Roberts is his own man. No REAL experience as a major league manager. But the GM really does not want a real manager — to use other approaches to the roster.

    2. Fire the GMs, all of them and get a baseball person to rebuild or remake this roster. Consider where the Dodgers keep getting whipped. Relief pitching, especially in the middle innings. No solid .300 hitter any longer. #4 and #5 starters to give more depth in pitching. These as starters.

    Enough time has gone on in this experiment — and it is not what Dodger tradition, Dodger fans expect.

    1. Roger, the GM’s are not pulling the strings. The chief he-bull is Friedman. He is the saber-metric poobah who runs the show. Those other guys all sit around a table with their calculators and numbers and give suggestions, but Friedman is where the buck stops, until it comes to money. Then it gets kicked upstairs to the big guys. Anything involving taking on new contracts, getting rid of bad ones, all go upstairs. You can bet they had to sign off on eating the 8 million owed to Guererro, and the close to 38 million owed to Crawford. They also have to sign off on any trade where a huge contract comes back this way. So far, they have not shown a mind to do that, which is why Wondering’s trade for Braun and Lucroy will never happen. They also feel like help will be coming from within. Puig will be back in a week or so, Ethier should be back by mid July. McCarthy is now throwing in re-hab. And realistically, none of these guys know the Dodger tradition my friend. Only Lasorda, and he is nothing more than a figurehead, has any clue to what being a Dodger means in that front office. And they also are not going to fire a brain trust they just assembled. The guy who should really be held accountable, Friedman is ownerships fair haired boy. They love his organization building skills. He did after all turn Tampa around. But, that was Tampa, they were not expected to win. This is LA, the Dodgers are expected to win,,,,,you will probably see a couple of minor trades, and maybe a waiver claim or two. But I doubt, because they have not shown they are willing, that you see a major name headed to LA. If anything it would be another move like the trade with the Braves that netted Alex Wood……these guys do not chase quality……..they chase quantity and mediocrity

  7. 1-1/2 years into a new regime and because of 27 years of past mismanagement, we want to throw FAZ out when they have done what no other Dodger Front Office has done for many years – Build the #1 Farm System in all of baseball. I’ll give Ned and Logan some of that credit, but FAZ is responsible for keeping the Farm Intact. The easiest thing in the world is to trade prospects. They have resisted and are are forced to sign players that have injury issues, etc.

    I have explained the PLAN ad nauseum – you can’t give up picks and you can’t trade top prospects. FAZ’s first year was not as successful as we wanted, but it was a very good year. They are sticking to the PLAN and there is ZERO CHANCE FAZ will be fired. Roberts maybe, not FAZ! They are a success but not by many fan’s measurements.

    The pitching isn’t the problem. The Dodgers are #4 in MLB in ERA – just .07 behind Washington. The relievers started out badly, but you haven’t been paying attention – the pen is #6 in all of MLB in ERA and they are just .01 from being #5,

    It’s not the pitching – IT’S THE HORRID HITTING!

    The Phillies are last with a .230 team BA and the Dodgers are second worst with a .231 ERA. By tonight, they will likely be last if things don’t change.

    It’s not that a few players are having an off year – ALMOST EVERYONE ON THE TEAM IS SUBSTANTIALLY UNDERPERFORMING!

    How can EVERYONE be underperforming? Most on this board complained about the pitching and the pen, but that is not the problem at all.

    These guys can’t jump out of a boat and hit water! Surely, it has to change.

    Baseball is a game of streaks. I’m waiting….

    1. To paraphrase our current president when he spoke to small businessmen – the Braintrust didn’t build the farm system. It has 1 draft under its belt, and about a million Cubans signed.

      Our former management built the farm system, for better or for ill, and I’m still not sure how many of them will actually turn into good major league baseball players.

  8. Are the people who say we have the #1 farm system the same ones who projected Washington to win the Series last year? Or the Dodgers winning 95 this year? The prospects are good, but they have a long way to go. There’s attrition at every level; just ask Zack Lee, twice our minor-league pitcher of the year.

    So far the team has gotten worse each year, not better. If things don’t turn around this season I expect someone will be thrown under the bus…maybe Zaidi, since the Dodgers have a surplus of GMs anyway. Friedman will probably get another year at least. And the fans will wait, again.

  9. I’m certainly not ready to fire anybody yet. Hell, we’ve been pretty boring and blah all year, and yet we’re only 3 games out!

    It’s more likely than guys like Puig, Turner, Grandal, Agone and Joc wake up then those 4 guys continuing to slump all year. I personally think Seager and Trayce are the real deal and not flukes, so I expect them to keep it up (but I”m sure a rookie slump/wall is coming soon. hopefully it doesn’t last too long).

    If we can just split today and tomorrow’s games, we would have gained a game in this series in SF; that’s all u can ask. Turner has hit 2hr the last couple days. Maybe he’s getting his stroke back. Let’s hope!

    1. Bobby
      I think all of the players you have mentioned, will start hitting, except for Joc. Joc has never proven, that he can hit major league pitching consistently.

      He has only hit decent, one month of the season, in the last two years. He needs to get some help like Puig is getting, to help him hit.

      And if Joc doesn’t want to listen to anyone’s advice, he might not be playing in the big leagues.

      It is so obvious, that he needs to shorten his swing, and make some adjustments, or he won’t be able to hit major league pitching, consistently.

      1. MJ, Joc hit everywhere he played. He has not yet played 2 full seasons in the major leagues, and this year he is working with a new hitting coach, who from what I have seen has totally changed the kids batting stance, and his approach to hitting. Doing all those things is hard enough when you are a veteran, but a 24 year old kid trying to repeat his prior success and having to totally change his mind set is not that easy. I guess I have more faith in the kid than you, but I do feel eventually he will hit better. Last night in the 9th he showed more hustle than most guys by never stopping on a hit that should have been no more than a single, and he has been shortening his swing.

        1. Michael
          Joc has not hit much over 200, but one month of one season, and this year. Michael this new hitting coach, didn’t work much with Joc’s swing.

          He has worked more with a game plan for Joc, how to prepare to hit the pitchers, that the Dodgers are facing in the next game.

          Joc worked with his old coach from AAA, that taught him that big swing. Joc has only eliminated his timing mechanism, that was bringing his foot up.

          I want Joc to do well, and I thought he was going to hit better, but he isn’t doing the same thing, like he did, last month.

          If Joc would hit 250 or above, I don’t have a problem with him. And if he starts hitting the ball, the other way, and hits some runs in, I would be fine with that, along with an occational HR, but he stopped doing that.

        2. And Michael, I hope your right about Joc, because the Dodger offense, can’t carry anyone. They need everyone hitting. And I want Joc to do well, for the Dodgers, and Bum.

  10. Garvey was on the broadcast last night, and I thought he give some good advice about Puig, and Pederson, concerning there hitting. He said that he never seen any decent hitter, miss so many fastballs, right down the middle of the plate, like Puig misses.

    And he talked about an adjustment, that Puig should make. He said that Joc needs to tilt his bat down a little, instead of having his bat, straight up, when he is waiting for a pitch. Garvey said that Harper made that adjustment, early last year, and look how much better, Bryce hit last year.

    Garvey also said, that to many players, are swinging way to hard, like a lot of us, have mentioned. And he said that they need to shorten there swings, and have more compact swings.

    I don’t know what is happening with the hitting coach, but I won’t blame him, until I hear something, that shows he is the problem. Because he had the Dbacks hitters hitting well, last year. And Goldy swears by him.

    I think Joc’s biggest problem, is that he doesn’t listen to what he is told. He doesn’t want to change his big swing, and that is why he worked with the same coach, that he worked with, in AAA, in the off season.

    This was the coach that orignally helped Joc to change his swing, and taught him, that big swing, to get more power. Ward really didn’t work much with Joc’s swing, because Joc said he had already adjusted from last year.

    And Joc was told that he would need to cut back on his swing, by Mattingly, and someone else, before last year’s season even began. They told Joc that it would be tough to face major league pitchers, with such a big swing.

    And Joc wouldn’t change his long swing then. After what happened with Joc last year, you would have thought he would have listened to the advice he got. But this year, Joc is practically doing the same thing, he did last year.

    Joc never hit over 200 last year, after the first of May. And he hasn’t hit much, after April, and really hasn’t hit a HR in quite a while. He was making more contact at the begining, and hitting the other way, but he isn’t doing that now.

    He is almost pulling everything he gets. I wish Trayce played a better center defensively, because I think Joc needs to go do what Puig is now doing. And hopefully, he will listen this time.

    If not, the Dodgers might need to get another outfielder, that can hit better.

    Turner said last night, that he was feeling fine, and felt good at the plate, but he just wasn’t getting good results.

    I hope he will start hitting, because Turner does look relaxed at the plate, but he doesn’t look even close to hitting, except his two clutch HRs, this week.

    I am going to wish for the best with Turner, and hope he breaks out today, and starts hitting the ball hard. And that all of his hard hits, start falling. Because if Turner starts hitting like he has, the Dodgers offense will be much better.

    And everyone else, in the heart of the order, will be more productive. Because when Agone, comes up with runners in scoring position, he usually delivers.

  11. I would give Joc another 10 days.

    I will do the same with Yasmani.

    Puig is gone for a while I think – he will have the maximum rehab assignment.

    Come the end of June, if they are not hitting, send Joc back to AAA. It’s long-enough.

    To get hitters like Braun or Lucroy, the Dodgers will have to give up SIGNIFICANT ASSETS, namely De Leon and Bellinger to start with. Braun is 32 and Lucroy is 30. The only way I would do that deal is if they would take Puig and Pederson and a couple of lower ranking prospects.

    I would stand pat and see if someone wants to make a move at the deadline for the right price. I think Grandal will snap out of it. He hit the ball pretty well last night – no K’s. Did you know that Kershaw has a .2 lower ERA with Grandal Catching over Ellis?

    Ethier will be back in July, most likely.

    I would like this lineup:

    1. Thompson CF
    2. Seager SS
    3. Braun RF
    4. Gonzo 1B
    5. Lucroy C
    6. Turner 3B
    7. Ethier/Hernandez LF
    8. Utley/Kendrick 2B

    1. Did you ever consider that you may be handicapped by your reason and logic? History tells us we should not try to predict what it would take to acquire a certain player in a trade because GMs sometimes do silly illogical things. It doesn’t hurt to try, you know about blind squirrels….

    2. Puig and Pederson and lower prospects for two guys on the wrong side of 30 and one of them with huge money still left? Sorry Mark, you are usually a pretty intelligent guy, but I am not trading 2 in their 20’s players with skills for 2 guys on the road down and taking on money to boot. Plus, Ethier is a far better RF than Braun. You say you give Joc 10 days. And the same for Yasmani. I doubt the FO would agree with that, and even as much as I dislike #9, he is Friedman’s fair haired boy. As far as Kershaw’s ERA being .2 lower with Grandal….well consider this, Ellis was catching Kershaw BEFORE he became a dominant force in the NL., plus he has caught him well over 100 games, comparing the maybe 15-20 times Grandal has caught Kersh in a year and a half, is dumb.

    3. I wouldn’t get Braun, he has another five years on his contract.

      And that will put the Dodgers in the same position, that they had with Crawford, a long with Ethier, who some had trouble with his contract too.

      And Braun has had a lot of different little injuries, that keeps him out of the line up, and he isn’t getting younger either.

      And why get Braun, when the front office had trouble, bringing Chapman, to the Dodgers, because of his off the field behavior.

      It would be better, to get someone on the last year of there contract. And Mark, that info you gave about Kershaw’s era, when Grandal is catching, is deceiving, because AJ has been Kershaw’s catcher, in many more games, then Grandal has. And AJ was catching Kershaw, long before Kershaw was the polished pitcher he is today.

      I believe I read, and they said in the last night’s broadcast, that Puig would be making a rehab start in AAA, or in Rancho in this next week. Mark what do you think about Turner? Turner said that he was feeling fine and felt relaxed, when he is up at the plate, and felt like he was swinging fine, but he was just not getting the results.

      Turner did hit those two HRs this week, but he still didn’t look good, in his other at bats, last night. It looks like he is behind, on average fastballs, and I don’t remember, really any hard hits by Turner, other then his HRs.

  12. Why would the Dodgers want Ryan Braun? He’s Matt Kemp all over again; An overpaid, injury-prone, right-handed power hitter who plays poor defense. Same with Lucroy – he’s good but injury prone. Many who post here have complained that the Braintrust seems fixated on procuring the injured or injury prone – so why would we want 2 more of those guys?

    If “The Plan” is to hold tight and wait for the prospects to come through, why would the Braintrust do something so contrary to “The Plan”?

    And why would we, as fans, want 2 more injury-prone players? Just to make a change? I don’t believe in change for change’s sake.

    1. Great point Rick. I am sure all those who love these guys in a trade are not thinking about Braun’s huge contract and the injury factor.

  13. Mark, I do not like what you are smoking. But today’s lecture from you sounds a lot like the old ones.

    The Dodgers have made some nice picks over the last 10 season in the Draft, yes. But they really have made many more poor picks as well. Go look at the video of the new SS they drafted first on video. Nothing special. He has a long way to go.

    Look at the new Catcher they drafted. Some say he cannot hit, catch yes, but not a hitter.

    Some here say protect and keep the farm, especially the key ones. Even the ones in THE TRADE, there are really no special players there the Dodgers gave up. If you forgot, Dodgers sent: Rubby De La Rosa, Jerry Sands, Allen Webster, Ivan De Jesus, and James Loney.

    De Jesus = 4 years in the majors, 347 ABs, .233 average, 5 HRs.
    De La Rosa = 6 years in the majors, 26-29, 4.47 ERA
    Sands = 6 years in the majors, 420 ABs, .238 average, 10 HRs
    Webster = 3 years in the majors, 7-6, 6.13 ERA – released by the Pirates back in December (he is only 26 years old) – HE IS PLAYING IN KOREA NOW, WITH SAMSUNG and is 4-4 with an ERA of 5.70

    James Loney, the real major leaguer of the bunch, after being traded to Boston, they released him, then Tampa signed him, they released him, the Padres signed him and he sat — and was purchased by the mets just this May. I always liked James Loney (met him several times in Spring Training with Mark).

    1. It wasn’t so much about what we gave up, it was what we took on. Boston had two unpopular players with big contracts they wanted to get rid of, and the Dodgers wanted AGone. The GM who replaced Theo wanted his own guys (sound familiar?) so Gonzalez was expendable.

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