The Dodgers entered this afternoon going for the sweep of the Nationals in a series finale featuring two future Hall Of Famers in Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer. The matchup lived up to the hype, with both pitchers looking sharp to create a low-scoring affair. Fortunately it was the Dodgers that made the most plays in the game, busting out the brooms with a 3-0 victory.
While both aces pitched well, Max Scherzer was the first to falter in the 2nd, though not so much through fault of his own. After allowing a lead-off single to Max Muncy, he then gave up a run on a towering two-out double from Zach McKinstry that was hit well but seemed to get lost in the sun by Victor Robles in center to make it 1-0.
That was about all the Dodgers got off Scherzer, unfortunately. The bats managed just a walk and a double more against Scherzer as he was dominant over six frames. Perhaps the best thing they ended up doing was working 90 pitches against him over that span.
While Clayton Kershaw didn’t exactly look vintage, he was certainly up to the challenge of the pitchers’ duel this afternoon. He only had one clean inning, but allowed just a single in every other inning to limit the chances the Nationals had to capitalize off him.
Most importantly, the adjustments from his last start stuck, and he sat 90-92 mph with his fastball and was down at 87-88 with his slider to keep hitters honest. All in all, his line was great: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 86 Pitches.
Corey Knebel took over in the 7th and continued his comeback season, setting down the Nationals in order with two ground outs and a fly out to maintain the lead.
Tanner Rainey took over for Scherzer, giving up a one-out single to Chris Taylor, which set the stage for a two-out dong from Zach McKinstry, who lined a ball at 106 mph over the right-center field wall to make it 3-0.
In the 8th, Blake Treinen started roughly due to some unfortunate luck, giving up a bloop single hit at 65 mph. That was then followed by a 78 mph fliner single to all of a sudden put the tying run at the plate. Treinen rebounded with a strikeout, then got Juan Soto to fly out on a hanging 3-0 cutter, and got a grounder to escape trouble.
Brad Hand didn’t allow any further insurance to the Dodgers, but that wasn’t a problem.
Kenley Jansen entered to get the save in the 9th and did so on just eight pitches. He struck out two batters and got a weak comebacker, flashing a 94 mph cutter.
Keep it up?
Justin Turner, fortunately not dead.
The Dodgers are now 8-2 on the year.
After a day off tomorrow, the Dodgers will welcome in the Rockies for three games, starting at the usual 4:10 PM HST/7:10 PM PST/10:10 PM EST. Trevor Bauer will take the mound against Antonio Senzatela.