Clayton Kershaw might not ever again look as utterly dominant as he did in 2016, but even if not, he’s still amazingly good and he led the Dodgers to a 6-2 win tonight over the NL West-leading Rockies.
Here’s a rare sentence this season: Clayton Kershaw had the slider working tonight but was rendered a two-pitch pitcher due to not having his curve at all. While the slider isn’t all the way back, and he’s still throwing it oddly hard, the movement was better and the swings and misses followed. However, the command of his breaking balls at times were off, which helped hitters focus on his fastball, which was subsequently pounded … for Kershaw’s standards.
Kershaw walked one and surrendered seven hits, and he actually got a bit fortunate with contact, getting away with striking out just four batters. He allowed runs in the third and fourth innings and had to wiggle out of trouble in the second, but was otherwise pretty clean throughout.
The tease, of course, is sequences like this to strike out Carlos Gonzalez, where he reminds everybody THAT Clayton Kershaw is still there with some tweaks.
Another odd decision was involved in this game, as a start after he threw a puzzling 118 pitches, the Dodgers pulled him after 7 innings and 85 pitches. At least he got the run support, though.
Offensively, the story was sequencing, with five of the six runs coming in the explosive second inning that allowed the Dodgers to coast a bit. Cody Bellinger started things with a walk, and with one down Chris Taylor also walked. That led to the suddenly hot Chase Utley, who promptly hit a ball into the gap that got past Charlie Blackmon in center for a two-RBI triple.
That was followed by the big blow, which was Corey Seager on a 3-0 count going down the oppo line for a two-RBI double.
Bellinger continued his hot start by adding insurance in the eighth inning by hitting a homer, and off a lefty to boot.
Even with a four-run lead, Kenley Jansen was summoned, which makes sense given he hasn’t been used a ton this season. Jansen got a 1-2-3 ninth to secure the victory, but didn’t even strike anybody out. Bust!
Cody Bellinger has 7 HR in 16 career games. Narrowly behind Matt Kemp (7 HR in 15 games in 2006).
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) May 13, 2017
Healthy Mattycakes … RIP.
The Dodgers improve to 21-15 with the victory and get closer to .500 on the road at 8-9.
We do this again with the Rockies tomorrow at 2:10 PM HST/5:10 PM PST/8:10 PM EST, and after that there’s only one game left at Satan Field until September. The mound matchup will be a pair of lefties in Alex Wood (2.73 ERA/2.01 FIP/2.19 DRA), who looks to continue his outstanding start, and Tyler Anderson (6.69 ERA/5.55 FIP/5.85 DRA), who looks to build off his dominant last start to regain his 2016 form.