Dodgers 5, Brewers 1: Clayton Kershaw, complete player

Clayton Kershaw was his usual awesome self, and Adrian Gonzalez provided some early offense for the Dodgers in a series-salvaging 5-1 win in Milwaukee on Sunday.

Kershaw finished the day with this line: 8 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 6/5 GO/AO, 100 pitches, 66 strikes.

The strikeouts were down a bit from normal, and he allowed two walks, but it was good enough to stop the Dodgers’ brief 2-game losing streak. Oh, and there was also this ridiculous play by the best pitcher on the planet and MVP candidate (foreshadowing for a post tomorrow).

Yep, he’s pretty good. That inning began with a flare double by Rickie Weeks. He was at third base with one out and Jean Segura at the plate. He tried a squeeze bunt that went foul up the first base line. The second attempt is captured in the GIF.

Kerhsaw even added an RBI single in the eighth inning that gave the Dodgers their fifth run of the day.

Kershaw walked the first batter he faced in Carlos Gomez, but he didn’t get any help from A.J. Ellis. On 2-2, Kershaw threw a borderline strike with his slider. Ellis’ inability to frame the pitch cost the Dodgers a strike, an out and ultimately, a run. In hindsight, it wasn’t that big a deal, but in a closer game, that could be a difference-making play. I know pitch-framing ability is probably overblown a little bit, but this is a prime example of why it’s so important.

Gonzalez continued his hot streak with two doubles and two RBIs. Since July 12, Gonzalez is hitting .333/.394/.548 (not including today’s game). With Hanley Ramirez having just gone on the disabled list, the Dodgers are going to need Gonzalez to keep up the hot hitting. Quietly, Ramirez’s replacement Miguel Rojas went 3-for-5 with a double. Sure, the first two hits were a bunt and infield single, but Rojas should get ample time at shortstop while Ramirez is out. Mmm, plus-defense at shortstop. But no, he won’t be the Dodgers’ shortstop in 2015.

It’s been a struggle on both sides of the ball for Ellis this season, but he finally got off the home run schnide by hitting his first one of the season in the eighth inning off Brewers’ reliever Marco Estrada. YayJ! He nearly hit a second home run in the ninth inning, but it was a foot or two short.

The Dodgers (67-52) travel to Atlanta where newest Dodger Kevin Correia (5-13, 4.94 ERA) will likely get a spot-start for the Dodgers against Braves’ ace Julio Tehran (10-8, 2.92 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. Pacific. If the Royals take down the Giants (KC up 7-4 in the eighth at press time), the Dodgers’ lead in the National League West will be a season-high 4 1/2 games.

About Dustin Nosler

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Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.