Clayton Kershaw versus Madison Bumgarner part two electric boogaloo was held tonight on Jackie Robinson Day. Though this contest was held in Los Angeles, it thankfully turned out like the first time around in San Francisco, and the Dodgers came out on top of the Giants by a score of 7-3.
Let’s start things off with Clayton Kershaw, because it’s Clayton Kershaw.
This probably wasn’t one of his sharpest outings, but like last time out, he battled all game and still got through seven innings while surrendering only five hits and no walks. Kershaw did cough up three runs, but one of them was unearned after a Howie Kendrick error and a “wild pitch” (A.J. Ellis passed ball, really). Another run came home on another wild pitch that Ellis really should’ve gotten down on, and the last came home after a single.
Kershaw also struck out six, but was removed from the game due to throwing 108 pitches.
Even with the Kershaw-Bumgarner matchup and the Dodgers-Giants rivalry to play this game up, the story was Enrique Hernandez, who continued his blistering start by blistering almost every pitch he saw from Bumgarner.
Enrique led-off the game on the first pitch with a homer to center.
And after that homer, Enrique was the all-time leader in slugging against left-handed pitchers.
Highest career SLG vs LHP (min 100 PA)
1. Enrique Hernandez, .650
2. Frank Thomas, .635
3. Ryan Braun, .624
Hernandez only 132 PA but still
— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) April 16, 2016
But that number would only go up, because he slugged a 2-0 fastball over the left-field fence in his next at-bat.
And that still wasn’t enough against Bumgarner, because Enrique then took his last plate appearance against the Giants ace with the bases loaded and promptly ripped the first pitch down the third-base line for a double.
Hernandez’s slash line on the year is now a ridiculous .440/.481/.800/1.281.
Madison Bumgarner vs Kiké Hernandez:
1st AB: 1 Fastball (HR, 109 MPH)
2nd AB: 3 Fastballs (HR, 110 MPH)
3rd AB: 1 Slider (2B, 108 MPH)
— Positive Residual (@presidual) April 16, 2016
But that accounted for only four runs, and the Dodgers had seven on the night. The other three runs were brought in by, who else, future MVP and starting shortstop Charlie Culberson. He drove in two with the bases loaded on a single to right…
…and then gave the Dodgers an insurance run later in the game with a single to drive in Ellis.
When will Dave Roberts WAKE UP and start future All-Star Charlie Culberson over BUST Corey Seager? Must be the FO nerds.
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) April 16, 2016
The frustrating part about the Dodgers 3-1 series loss to the Giants earlier was that the Dodgers had built leads in every one of those games. Thus, they all felt winnable and to come up short again and again was about as frustrating as imaginable. Given that experience, even when the Dodgers charged ahead to a five-run lead thanks to the four-run fourth inning, it was difficult to feel a sense of comfort. That got even more difficult after the Giants immediately scratched two back against Kershaw, but everything worked out in the end.
The much-maligned bullpen was flawless in the eighth and ninth innings, probably because Chris Hatcher and Joe Blanton pitched, and they are two relievers who aren’t actually bad. The two of them didn’t allow a baserunner and combined to strikeout three batters and finished off the game.
–Vin Scully told this amazing story about Madison Bumgarner, a snake, and a rabbit.
To compensate for that, Scully also called Bumgarner “very sensitive”.
–Yasiel Puig‘s OPS is still over 1.000 on the year, but after all the quality plate appearances he’s been having, this was easily his worst game.
-Here’s Zack Greinke flipping a bat on an infield fly.