The Blue Jays succeeded in making Clayton Kershaw work in the early innings, as he threw 55 pitches through his first three frames. It didn’t matter, though. Kershaw still delivered seven innings, striking out ten and walking none. This makes it seven starts to begin the season in which Kershaw has thrown at least seven innings (he’s had two eight-inning games and, of course, the complete game shutout his last time out). It’s also three straight starts from Kershaw where he’s recorded double-digit strikeouts while walking none:
To put that in a career context:
Today is the 16th time in Clayton Kershaw's career that he has struck out at least 10 without walking anyone pic.twitter.com/cRWzub61Ii
— Ryan Walton (@RyanWaltonSBN) May 7, 2016
Kershaw is currently leading the majors in strikeouts with 64, but perhaps even more impressive is that he’s only walked three batters in 53 IP. That’s a K/BB of 21.33. That’s staggeringly good.
Kershaw did allow two runs today, which brought his ERA all the way up from 1.96 to 2.04. No one in the Jays lineup gave him a more difficult time than former Dodger Darwin Barney, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Barney, however, played a role in giving the Dodgers a couple of runs back, as he made an uncharacteristic two errors.
Joc Pederson first got the Dodgers on the board by taking an R.A. Dickey knuckleball 434 feet over the center field wall for a solo shot in the top of the second. Kershaw surrendered a run in the bottom half of the inning, but the Dodgers got it back almost immediately, thanks to some shoddy Blue Jays defense. They loaded the bases, and Chase Utley scored on a passed ball. Two more runs came in on an Adrian Gonzalez base hit.
In the fifth inning, Barney singled, and came in to score when Howie Kendrick sort of dribbled a Kevin Pillar double off the left field turf.
Pederson deserves some recognition for somehow not getting hit by this Dickey pitch in the top of the seventh:
RA Dickey’s knuckle puck right through Joc Pederson’s five-hole. What, what? #BlueJays pic.twitter.com/kVO23xlJrs
— Faizal Khamisa (@SNFaizalKhamisa) May 7, 2016
Justin Turner‘s first home run of the season came with two outs in the the eighth inning, a one-run blast to left field off of Chad Girodo, which provided a bit of insurance ahead of the Dodger bullpen coming in.
Pedro Baez pitched a clean bottom of the eighth, picking up a strikeout. The Dodgers added a run in the top of the ninth, when Pillar laid out to make an astounding catch…that went for a sac fly.
Airborne Kevin Pillar. #NiceCatch #BlueJays pic.twitter.com/XcKHeN4vb4
— Blue Jays Fans (@BJsFans) May 7, 2016
Even though it wasn’t a #save situation, a well-rested Kenley Jansen, who last appeared on four days ago, finished the job with a scoreless ninth, giving up a hit and striking out one.
Good news, everyone — the Dodgers are back to .500.
The Dodgers and Jays will play their rubber game tomorrow, another 10:07 AM Pacific start time. It’ll be Ross Stripling vs. Marco Estrada.