After the Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish matchup lived up to the hype last time, this iteration wasn’t as dramatic as both weren’t as sharp. Still, it was a generally close and low-scoring affair regardless, and this time it was the Padres who got the biggest blows, the better pitching, and made the key defensive plays in a 6-1 victory over the Dodgers.
Yu Darvish dominated the Dodgers the last time he started against them, which was just a week ago, allowing three baserunners over seven innings. Well, the Dodgers at least got off to a better start tonight, as Mookie Betts led off with a double, was moved to third on a ground out, and then after a Justin Turner walk he scored on a Max Muncy single. That gave the Dodgers as many baserunners in the first four batters as they had in the entire last start against Darvish. However, they could not capitalize further on the chance from there and things stood at 1-0.
The Dodgers got another chance in the 3rd thanks to a hit by pitch, stolen base, and wild pitch, but failed to even muster a swing, much less a hit.
Meanwhile, Clayton Kershaw had a bit of an adventure in the 1st, but through little fault of his own. The game started with a fielding error, and then a one-out bloop single put him into trouble, though he escaped with a double play. That relief didn’t last long, as in the next two frames he allowed no-doubter solo dingers that gave the Padres a 2-1 lead. Wil Myers got him in the 2nd and Fernando Tatis Jr. crushed one in the 3rd.
While Kershaw was otherwise cruising along, the homer bit him again in the 5th as Tatis Jr. homered again to left to make it 3-1.
He also had to wiggle out of minor trouble in the 6th due to the Dodgers continuing to play sloppily, especially on the infield. In the end though, it was his worst start of the year due to the homers, but he did close it out with a borderline immaculate inning: 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 7 K, 91 Pitches.
There have been no updates on the offense because they did nothing against Darvish since the 3rd aside from a Kershaw single. The 7th provided their best chance with Luke Raley bunting for a single with one out, and Austin Barnes following it with a walk. After a strikeout, Betts ambushed the first pitch and it seemed destined for a double and perhaps a tie game, but Manny Machado leaped up in full extension to rob him and end the threat.
Jimmy Nelson faced the minimum in the 8th in relief of Kershaw, giving up a single but also notching a strikeout and inducing a double play. Corey Knebel then was supposed to get the 9th but exited after walking the first batter with what looked like either an elbow or oblique issue.
Dennis Santana relieved him and got a quick out before uncorking a wild pitch, issuing an intentional walk, and then giving up a Tommy Pham single (Knebel’s run) to make it 4-1. After another walk to load the bases, Santana got an out on a grounder but not a double play, so another run crossed the plate. An infield single by Tatis then made it 6-1, but the Padres showed mercy by trying to score two on the play and running themselves out of the inning.
Well, there was one bright spot tonight at least, which was Joe Davis telling Orel Hershiser that almonds are not from cows.
The Dodgers fall to 14-6 on the year and are 1-4 in their last 5.