The Dodgers escaped today with what seems like an easy 10-2 win on the surface, but it was actually a lot more tenuous, especially late when odd decision making by Dave Roberts threatened to cost the Dodgers the game … and tomorrow’s.
Clayton Richard clowned on the Dodgers last time out, and he started by threatening to do it again in the early innings. Despite at least the lead-off man reaching in three consecutive innings, Richard wiggled out of it with no damage thanks to double plays and strikeouts.
Thankfully, the Dodgers finally managed to break through in the fourth. Justin Turner led things off again with a single, which was then followed by a Franklin Gutierrez walk. Cody Bellinger did the thing again, breaking the scoreless tie with a single against the shift.
After Enrique Hernandez got unlucky with a line out, Gutierrez actually scored after an odd pick-off attempt.
Then because he does everything, Cody stole third, which setup Yasiel Puig for an RBI single.
The Dodgers didn’t let up in the fifth, with walks eventually loading the bases, and Hernandez driving in two with a double.
Much later in the ninth, the Dodgers added a ton of insurance to make it a laugher. They scored a run on a wild pitch and then a ridiculous grand slam by Bellinger.
Surprisingly they only had eight hits on the night, but they were timely this time around and were aided significantly by a whopping nine walks and a hit by pitch.
On the other side of things was, of course, Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw looked as sharp as ever through seven shutout innings on 96 pitches. For whatever reason, though, he was allowed to go out for the eighth. Well Ryan Schimpf started with a homer. He remained in. Manuel Margot walked. He remained in. Cory Spangenberg struck out after five pitches. He remained in. Wil Myers then walked and finally he was done for the day. Kershaw ended up throwing 118 pitches in 7.1 innings, striking out nine and surrendering only five hits, but walking four.
"Just let Clayton Kershaw do what he wants!"
*Throws 120 Pitches With A Five-Run Lead*
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) May 7, 2017
But the book was far from closed on him at the time, because after Pedro Baez got an out on a pop-up, he issued a walk of his own to Austin Hedges (!!!) to load the bases. That led to having to use Kenley Jansen to prevent disaster, and after some nervousness, Jansen notched a strikeout on a 3-2 count.
Unfortunately, Jansen ended up throwing 33 pitches after starting the ninth, partially because the umpire is terrible and partially because of the terrible decision making. Left in to get the SAVEZZZ, he gave up a lead-off single before striking out two, and then allowed a single to right. Still he was left in, and he seemed to induce a ground out to third, but Turner threw in the dirt and that was the end of things for Kenley’s night.
Chris Hatcher came in to close it out and threw one whole pitch to induce a pop up and end it.
So not only did Roberts end up putting the game at risk in the eighth by leaving Kershaw in, but three relievers ended up burned, Kenley didn’t get the save after being left in, and now he’s unavailable if they need him in tomorrow’s contest — one that is far more likely to need four outs from him.
Clayton Kershaw was … unhappy with the umpire.
Joc Pederson with a nice expletive and Dave Roberts with a comedy routine.
With the win, the Dodgers improve to 17-14 overall and 7-8 away from Dodger Stadium, which seems like a miracle at this point.
Weather is apparently going to be a problem as the Dodgers attempt a road sweep against the Padres, but it’s scheduled to start at 10:40 AM HST/1:40 PM PST/4:40 PM EST. The mound matchup will be Brandon McCarthy (3.10 ERA/3.69 FIP/3.60 DRA), looking to rebound a bit from his last outing, against Trevor Cahill (3.60 ERA/2.74 FIP/2.17 DRA), who is apparently … good now?