Dodgers 5, D-backs 2: Clayton Kershaw pitches the Dodgers into the NLDS

In his last start, Clayton Kershaw dominated the Diamondbacks to clinch the NL West title, and today he mostly repeated the feat in order to earn the Dodgers a bye past the Wild Card Series and into the NLDS in a 5-2 victory.

That’s four wins in a row and eight in their last nine.

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Diamondback starter Merrill Kelly is a borderline Cy Young Award candidate this year against teams not the Dodgers with a 2.38 ERA, but he entered today with four starts against the Dodgers for a 8.50 ERA and only barely managed to get that down a bit today.

Kelly looked like he was going to make it different tonight, retiring the first five batters, including four strikeouts in a row. That violently came to an end when Joey Gallo stepped up and obliterated a ball onto the concourse in deep right for his 18th dong of the year.

After a quiet inning, the 4th led to a crooked number. With one out, the Dodgers went Max Muncy double, Gallo single (plus error) to score Muncy, Gavin Lux single (plus advancing on the throw), and then Chris Taylor ripping a ball to left off the top of the wall that was ruled a double initially but was later corrected to his 10th homer on review.

That made it 5-0, but Kelly did get through six without further mess, hence lowering his ERA against the Dodgers.

As alluded to earlier, Clayton Kershaw had another encouraging start and looked basically normal for 2022. Fortunately, that has meant great, and he easily could’ve kept them shutout again.

Kershaw did work around more trouble this time, as he allowed a pair of singles in the 2nd but prevented a run. The 5th was the next time he got into a jam, allowing a lead-off double and then a bloop single to corner the runners with just one down. Kershaw then seemed to roll a 5-4-3 double play, but Geraldo Perdomo was ruled safe even after review that sure appeared to show him being out.

Same.

That plated the only run Kershaw allowed to make it 5-1, as he was otherwise dominant and missed a ton of bats.

6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 10 K, 94 Pitches

Evan Phillips took over for him in the 7th and had another ho-hum 13-pitch perfect inning with a strikeout. Tommy Kahnle was next and he continued to look surprisingly healthy, doing four better than Phillips with a 1-2-3 frame on just nine pitches in the 8th.

While the bats didn’t manage any more runs, the Dodgers didn’t need them, though just barely. Craig Kimbrel looked as shaky as he has since about late-August, starting with a single and then back-to-back hit batters that loaded the bases. However, a diving play on a scorched liner led to an odd double play, and Kimbrel settled down with an infield pop to end it.

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Evan Phillips nickname alert.

Lol.

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102-44 on the year now.

TEAMCHASEGAMES
AstrosMLB6 Up
MetsNL9.5 Up
ClinchedNL WestDoesn’t Matter

Double-header tomorrow, folks. First game at 9:10 AM HT/12:10 PM PT/3:10 PM ET with Michael Grove against Zach Davies. Then it’s Tyler Anderson against Drey Jameson at 4:10 PM HT/7:10 PM PT/10:10 PM ET.

About Chad Moriyama

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