Logically, a Dodgers fan in 2019 should have an abundance of confidence when facing the rival Giants, as one club are perennial World Series contenders and one club are unintentionally tanking. However, the games are always close and the Dodgers entered tonight just .500 against the Giants so far this year.
Thankfully they are now one game above .500 in the rivalry, as they rode a stellar Clayton Kershaw to a 9-0 shutout victory.
On the anniversary of his no-hitter, Kershaw brought the throwback results even if the way he did it continues to be different. He allowed just three runners to reach second base, coming in the 2nd, 3rd, and 7th innings, with the latter only because of Alex Verdugo misplaying a liner in center rather terribly.
Kershaw threw 100 pitches on the night, going seven shutout innings. He surrendered just two singles, two walks, and the aforementioned “double” that Verdugo just misread. He also struck out six en route to lowering his ERA to 2.85.
On the other end, the offense took three batters to get their engines revved up today. Joc Pederson started things with a lead-off dong to left, his 19th of the season.
Verdugo then lined a single up the middle and Justin Turner plated him with a double down the line in left to make it 2-0. Somehow the rally died after that, though.
While the bats continued to strand runners, they at least scored some tonight. In the 6th that trend continued, as a Max Muncy walk and Matt Beaty single put runners at the corners for Chris Taylor, who bunted for a single to make it 3-0. Yet like before, that was where the rally died.
After a long wait, the Dodgers finally cashed in on scoring chances in the 7th and blew the game open with a six-run inning. With one out, Muncy and Cody Bellinger singled to put runners on the corners, and David Freese drove a run in by grounding into a diving stop at third by Evan Longoria to make it 4-0.
Any insurance was welcome at that point, but they weren’t done yet, as Taylor singled and so did Austin Barnes to drive in another to make it 5-0. Kyle Garlick followed with a walk to load the bases, and Enrique Hernandez promptly unloaded them with his 11th dong of the year, a no-doubter to left for a grand slam to cap the scoring at 9-0.
Yes, everybody made the same joke.
No lie, though.
Dylan Floro entered in relief to start, getting a 1-2-3 inning in the 8th by striking out the side.
Sure enough, Joe Kelly entered to close things out, looking to get back on track once again. He started by issuing a lead-off walk, but then induced a ground out that should’ve been a double play, notched a strikeout, allowed a single, and then finally got a comebacker to complete a scoreless frame in the end. Barely.
The Dodgers improve to 49-25 on the year, which is merely a 107-win pace. They are 10 games ahead of the Rockies in the NL West, 6 games ahead of the Braves in the NL, and are tied with the Twins on games in the MLB.
The two teams will do this against tomorrow on ESPN at 4:00 PM HST/7:00 PM PST/10:00 PM EST with Rich Hill (LHP/2.60 ERA/4.24 FIP/3.30 DRA) facing Drew Pomeranz (LHP/6.43 ERA/5.59 FIP/7.03 DRA), which looks like a gigantic mismatch but the Dodgers got owned by him last time.