Dodgers 4, Cubs 2: Vintage Clayton Kershaw makes All-Star case with 10 K, bats come alive late again

After a dramatic comeback win yesterday, the Dodgers did the same again tonight in a 4-2 victory over the Cubs. Though they only had to makeup a run this time, they did it twice, finally taking the lead in the 7th for good behind Freddie Freeman.

Of course, they had that lead because Clayton Kershaw was stellar, going the deepest he has this season and really putting up one of his best starts in years. The Dodgers have now secured a series win, have won six in a row, and have 10 wins in their last 11.

======

As chatter has started to pick-up about Kershaw not only being an All-Star but starting the game, he apparently decided to give them reason to hand him the nod.

Kershaw was dominant tonight, facing the minimum through four innings, allowing just a single against the shift during that time and having that erased by a double play. The 5th was the primary issue he faced, allowing a controversial “single” to Seiya Suzuki and then giving up a double to Nico Hoerner to put two in scoring position with nobody out. However, Kershaw got a strikeout, a sacrifice fly from Yan Gomes, and a ground out to escape with only one “earned” run allowed.

Still, he was down at that point because the rest of the Dodgers threw back to his old offense as well.

On the other side was Marcus Stroman coming back from injury and he shut the Dodgers down in his return. He actually didn’t have a clean inning, but also wasn’t ever threatened, not allowing a runner in scoring position. Stroman went just four innings, presumably scheduled, giving up just two singles, a walk, and a reached on error during his time.

From there the Cubs pen took over, starting out well with a clean 5th. However, Scott Effross started the 6th, pitching for the third straight game. He gave up a one-out double to Trea Turner, which provided the offense with their first scoring chance, and with two down Will Smith (who else) took advantage by drilling a single back up the middle that Effross couldn’t glove. 1-1.

Back to Kershaw, he cruised through a clean 6th, but gave up a bloop double against the outfield shift to start the 7th that was immediate trouble. After getting an out and what looked like a caught stealing for the second, that call was overruled and a steal of third was given, one that later scored on a Trea fielder’s choice/error.

The Dodgers came right back in the 7th and then some, starting things with a Jake Lamb homer to tie the game at 2-2.

Gavin Lux followed with a single, then Cody Bellinger dramatically beat out an infield single to make it a real threat. Austin Barnes tried to sac bunt but put one right back to the pitcher to keep the situation the same, and Mookie Betts followed by loading the bases with a single. After Trea popped out, Freddie dropped a jam-shot single into right for a 4-2 lead.

Kershaw actually came back out in the 8th and should’ve got a clean inning, but a “single” that was really a Max Muncy error ended his impressive night.

Evan Phillips then entered for one out and got it on one pitch … on a ball to the track.

Craig Kimbrel got the 9th and immediately issued a lead-off walk, but bounced back with a strikeout, a deep flyout, and then a strikeout to end the game.

Never in doubt.

——

https://twitter.com/ChadMoriyama/status/1545987791024074752

======

55-29 on the year and 7 games up on the Padres.

The Dodgers go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon at 10:10 AM HT/1:10 PM PT/4:10 PM ET with Julio Urias against … somebody.

About Chad Moriyama

"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times