KershawKC0624

Dodgers 2, Royals 0: Offense Bad, But Kershaw Better

KershawKC0624

Clayton Kershaw didn’t allow ruminations of Johnny Vander Meer to last very long tonight. The second batter of the game, Eric Hosmer, somehow singled to left on a fastball that was about shoulder-high. Despite the Royals getting a whole six hits against him, Kershaw pitched eight shutout innings. Kershaw has now thrown 21 consecutive innings without allowing a run; his ERA now down to 2.24. Kershaw walked one batter to go along with his eight strikeouts, which actually decreased his 2014 K/BB ratio. Sixteen of his outs were on balls in play, fourteen of which were on grounders. Oh, and all of this came without great command of his curveball.

The biggest trouble Kershaw faced was in the bottom of the seventh, after Omar Infante hit a grounder up the middle and Danny Valencia lined a single to left with one out. However, Justin Maxwell (who, remember, was rumored to be nearly traded for Dee Gordon during the winter meetings last year) hit into a fielder’s choice. Miguel Rojas made a great play on an Alcides Escobar grounder up the middle to end the threat and preserve the shutout.

On the other side of the ball, Danny Duffy stymied the Dodgers’ “house money” lineup, as we all probably predicted. Relying very heavily on his fastball, Duffy made it through six innings and allowed just one run. He struck out five batters and walked four. The only run scored in the first inning on an Adrian Gonzalez fielder’s choice, which would have been an inning-ending double play if the ball had not tipped off of Duffy’s glove. Justin Turner (Miller?) scored after leading off the inning with a triple at the end of an 11 pitch at-bat. Turner saw 22 of Duffy’s 105 pitches tonight.

The Dodgers didn’t score again until the ninth inning against Kelvin Herrera. After a lead-off walk by Adrian Gonzalez, A.J. Ellis and Andre Ethier singled softly to add on an extra run. Kenley Jansen didn’t need it, though, as he struck out two batters in a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

The Dodgers’ win sets up a rubber match between Dan Haren and James Shields at 5:10PM tomorrow evening. It’s a bit of a mismatch on paper, but Shields hasn’t been his normal self so far this year either.


About

Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area and remains a Dodger fan despite currently residing in Salem, MA. As an engineer, he’s fascinated by the math and science behind the game of baseball, which probably explains a lot. He started “Blog To The Score” in late 2013 to dig deeper into the numbers behind the Dodgers. In its brief lifespan, it gained attention from local and national media. You can find him spending too much time in the comments section or on Twitter.


408 comments
tpmerrill
tpmerrill

Good to see KJ with a 3rd consecutive save.  I did my own rudimentary analysis of KJ's performance this year, looking at strikeout rate, strikeouts per walk, Walk rate, % of hitters putting the ball in play, batting average allowed, and really every number except batting average is very much in line with his historical performance.  I know people have touted BABIP and bad luck, but I wanted to look at it myself.  He has allowed less than a .300 average on balls put in play through 2013, but this year it's .434!!!  I wondered if that can truly be all attributed to luck, or is there some other contributor, like is he getting too much of the plate?  However, if he was missing his spots, wouldn't it stand to reason that his strikeouts would be down and his walks up?  Neither of those things has happened, so it leads me to conclude that by and large, bad luck is the overwhelming factor in his batting average being elevated this year.  I'd also point out he has 3 blown saves in 26 opportunities, which is right in line with his history.  Thoughts anyone?

ABSmileBunch
ABSmileBunch

Sounds like there's finally some progress on the alex guerrero front. Boras is reporting that the surgery was successful.

Dang88
Dang88

Lebron or Kershaw?

finleysgrandslam
finleysgrandslam

which is more pressure for Lebron:

Playing for the Knicks - hungry, rabid fanbase. NYC Media spotlight
Playing for the Lakers - actual history and expectation of winning, real comparisons to Kareem, Magic, Shaq, Kobe etc. 


not even a huge basketball fan....

WBBsAs (In Dog We Trust. Un Planeta Sin Gatos)
WBBsAs (In Dog We Trust. Un Planeta Sin Gatos)

Rather than wait another week, Ángel Pagán went on the DL yesterday and will be theoretically eligible to come off it next Tuesday. Gnats will bring up another AAAA player from Fresno(t).

moneynow27
moneynow27

Yes, to bump up Dustin's point, Justin Miller (lol) is a good player, and may see more playing time even when Uribe returns.

finleysgrandslam
finleysgrandslam

amazing to think that a starting lineup in an AL stadium would include Turner, Rojas, Trufiel, and Romak.

steelmohawk
steelmohawk

@scottmbarrett The most pressure would be if he went back to the Cavs, or some other crappy team.  The whole "win it on your own" thing is still prevalent in BBall

- Casey -
- Casey -

@DBrim Which explains why he feels the same about Koufax. He assigns more value to a longer career. In my eyes, Koufax was one of the most dominant pitchers to ever play the game...which makes him one of the greatest.

Oh well.  

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

@moneynow27 well, he'll almost certainly see less than he is now, right?

But there's certainly room for him. Uribe shouldn't be a 7-day-a-week guy at his age, and Gordon should never face lefty pitching.

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

@Dustin Nosler Without knowing his reasoning, my guess is that he thinks Koufax shouldn't be among the best of all time when he was done by 30, and Kershaw shouldn't be talked about that way at 26.

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler moderator

Not sure why folks keep lumping Turner in with these guys. Turner is actually good.

moneynow27
moneynow27

@scottmbarrett

I think there's an argument to keep Rojas on the roster, even when Figgins is eligible to return.  He's a good player, at least on defense, and that's something we need.  He plays several IF positions as does Figgins, but I think Rojas is a better all around player.

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler moderator

Could also give Gonzalez a day off at 1B against lefties.

- Casey -
- Casey -

@Mike Petriello @Dustin Nosler Chad was questioning him about this earlier this morning. He's a thoughtful guy that gave plenty of reasons for why he thinks it. Basically, it boils down to the fact that, yes, Kershaw is still young and he has only been slightly better than a number of other pitchers

finleysgrandslam
finleysgrandslam

@Dustin Nosler Turner has been playing great. I wouldn't categorize him as a good. 

Also, I was thinking more in terms of those guys on the field rather than Uribe, Hanley, Ethier, and Crawford. And yes - I know, injuries and LHP.

steelmohawk
steelmohawk

@scottmbarrett @Dustin Nosler his numbers certainly qualify the use of "good" the only position he is questionable at is SS, and even then he has equal/better defensive numbers than Hanley

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler moderator

Yes, I just don't see how that leads to "Kershaw = overrated"