Brewers 3, Dodgers 2: Kershaw good, but not good enough

Well, at least the bullpen didn’t get used. Clayton Kershaw was really good tonight, except the home runs allowed, and the offense couldn’t muster anything against the Brewers. The Dodgers lost 3-2.

Kershaw threw his sixth complete game of the season in a 97-pitch effort. He allowed five hits, three runs (all earned), no walks and 11 strikeouts. Yet, a 2-run home run to Ryan Braun and a solo home run to Carlos Gomez is all the Brewers would need on Saturday night.

Justin Turner singled in a suddenly (somewhat) hot Carl Crawford for their first run, and Matt Kemp homered off Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth, but the Dodgers came up short. Yovani Gallardo was great for the Brewers: 8 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.

After last night’s debacle, it was nice to see Kershaw give a 9-inning effort, but it’d also be nice if the offense could have stepped up to help him out. Perhaps he threw too many strikes (73. 1 percent), and missed location twice (that ended up hurting him at least). It’s the first time Kershaw has allowed two home runs in a game since Sept. 8.

With the win, the Brewers (69-55) clinched the season series against the Dodgers (70-55). That could come into play at the end of the season, as they’re just a half game behind the Dodgers for best record in the National League. Dan Haren (10-9, 4.50 ERA), coming off two strong outings, faces Wily Peralta (14-7, 3.46). First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. Pacific time. The Phillies lost today, so the Dodgers’ lead in the NL West over the Giants is down to 4.5 games.

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During the game, the Phillies announced the first of two players who are going east to complete the Roberto Hernandez trade. Jesmuel Valentin, 20, was the Dodgers’ supplemental first-round pick in 2012 — the pick the Dodgers got when Rod Barajas signed with the Pirates under the old arbitration system.

Valentin played with Carlos Correa in Puerto Rico, and played a lot of second base. He was drafted as a shortstop, but quickly moved to second base in the pros. His biggest positives are being able to draw a walk and play really good defense at second base. In his second go-around in Great Lakes, Valentin seems to have been figuring it out a bit. Still, his walk rate fell a little, but his power increased a little bit.

Seeing as the return was a nearly 34-year-old Hernandez who isn’t particularly good, the value given up seems like a bit much. It isn’t about Valentin going on to become a big star, it’s about trading value for value. Ned Colletti has a hard time doing that in these minor trades. Miguel Sulbaran went to Minnesota last year for Drew Butera. Jonathan Martinez went to the Cubs for Darwin Barney. Those are two recent examples of Colletti giving up too much for marginal upgrades (or lateral moves).

There’s still one player going to Philadelphia, and there could be a a player going to the Twins for Kevin Correia (but I really hope it’s just money).

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He does contracts and depth charts for FanGraphs and is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a one-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, California, and has yet to be shot.