Dodgers 3, Giants 1: Kershaw, Grandal lead Dodgers to win #99

The Dodgers took the rubber game of their final series of the year against the Giants, thanks largely to a strong performance from Clayton Kershaw and a productive day at the plate by Yasmani Grandal. The win was the Dodgers’ 99th of the season. With one more victory, they’ll hit 100 wins for just the third time in Los Angeles Dodgers history, and just the seventh time in franchise history.

Kershaw looked how he usually does against the Giants: really good. He delivered eight innings of one-run ball, striking out seven (with his final strikeout of the day being his 200th of the season). He allowed eight hits, three of which were by Hunter Pence, and four of which were erased on double plays. The sole blemish on his blotter was a home run by Mac Williamson, which … sure, why not.

As if his performance on the mound wasn’t enough, Kershaw also got a hit (his ninth of the season) and laid down a successful sacrifice bunt. He also managed deftly managed to avoid Gorkys Hernandez‘s bat when it slipped out his hands:

He also made Brandon Crawford do, uh, this:

With one outing left in the regular season, Kershaw’s ERA is down to 2.21, easily the best among qualified starters in the National League (and slightly better than Corey Kluber for the best in baseball). While this performance may not have been enough to bolster his Cy Young candidacy all that much, it certainly did not hurt it.

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The Dodgers first got on the board against Chris Stratton in the second inning. Curtis Granderson singled, advanced to third on a Logan Forsythe double, and scored on a Grandal sac fly.

Grandal would be responsible for knocking in the other two Dodger runs as well. With one out in the fourth inning and Chase Utley at first base, Grandal launched his 21st home run of the season:

https://twitter.com/Dodgers/status/912068832336007170

That home run came from the left side of the plate, as is the case with 19 of Grandal’s 21 dongs this year.

That fourth inning ended on sort of an odd note. Chris Taylor hit a fly ball into the right field stands, which Pence might have had a shot at if a fan hadn’t interfered with him:

Indeed, upon review, it was ruled fan interference, and Taylor was called out. (The fan was also ejected.)

That was it for the Dodgers’ offense, although Joc Pederson deserves some recognition for his solid day at the plate. He walked twice, singled, and stole a base. Pederson’s single probably should have been a double, and was ruled as such originally, but Grandal, who’d reached first via a walk, got thrown out trying to take third base.

Kershaw’s day came to an end after 93 pitches, and with Kenley Jansen evidently being given the day off, Brandon Morrow closed things out. He retired the heart of the heart of the Giants’ order, striking out two batters on the way to his second save of the year.

Thus concludes the 2017 season series between the Dodgers and the Giants. The Dodgers won 11 games, the Giants won eight. We’ll see you in 2018, San Francisco.

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The Dodgers, now 99-57, begin their final home series of the year tomorrow with a three-game set against the Padres (70-85 as of posting, but currently trailing to the Rockies). Tomorrow, it’ll be Yu Darvish (3.96 ERA, 3.94 FIP, 3.27 DRA) against Travis Wood (6.55 ERA, 5.81 FIP, 7.83 DRA). First pitch is 7:10 PM Pacific.

About Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler is a native Angeleno and longtime Dodger fan. She began blogging about baseball in 2012 on her Tumblr, New Grass On The Field, where she covered an array of topics but especially enjoyed exploring baseball history. She now writes for The Hardball Times, FanGraphs and Sporting News, and co-hosts a podcast, The Hardball Times Audio. She recently earned her master’s degree in Sports Management from Cal State Long Beach. She graduated from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor’s in History and a minor in American Studies. She’s an avid Springsteen fan, which is a big boost to her baseball writer cred.