The win also helps the Dodgers stop a short two-game skid and prevents a sweep at least.
Kershaw was obviously the story today, and rightfully so as he turned in a vintage start to bail out his team, just like old times. When it started, it felt like his team trying to sabotage him, as Jason Heyward made a three-base error on the first batter of the game.
Clayton bounced back immediately, as he had it all working, striking out the next three batters to escape the jam. He then ran off a streak of 10 straight batters before allowing his first hit on an infield single in the 4th.
That didn’t faze him much, as he resumed his domination and set down 10 more in a row. It seemed like he would complete the game himself, but Mark Canha battled him to a 13-pitch single and another single followed in the 7th. That suddenly put the game under threat, but Kershaw notched one final strikeout to end his night.
7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K, 105 Pitches
On the other side, even with Mookie Betts out, Tylor Megill seemed to labor for the most part against a depleted lineup. Things started in the 1st when Freddie Freeman‘s single was immediately taken advantage of by a J.D. Martinez bomb to straight-away center for a 2-0 lead.
After a clean 2nd, that guy stepped up to the plate again in the 3rd and again homered, this time to the opposite field to push the lead to 3-0.
Megill then had to work around a walk and a single later in the frame, which would become a theme, as he escaped a walk and single in the 4th as well, and two singles and a walk to load the bases in the 5th. The Dodgers were actually 0-for-5 with RISP against him, despite all the traffic.
In relief of him, the Mets pen started with a clean 6th, then like Megill worked around traffic, preventing two walks from touching home in the 7th. The 8th finally changed things, as Austin Barnes walked and stole second, James Outman singled to center to corner the runners, and Freddie lifted a fly ball to left for a sacrifice fly to push the lead to 4-0. Martinez followed soon after with a single into the gap, making it 5-0 and making the Dodgers 2-for-9 with RISP on the night.
Relieving Kershaw was Evan Phillips in the 8th, and after he allowed a lead-off single, he then gave up a liner that seemed destined for right, but Miguel Vargas lept and speared it to double off the runner at first. After a groundout, Phillips had a clean inning while facing the minimum.
Brusdar Graterol then entered to close things out in the 9th, and got a very pleasant 1-2-3 frame with two strikeouts.
Clayton Kershaw was pretty animated out there today.
9-9, the Dodgers are mid again!
The rubber match and series finale will be early tomorrow at 9:10 AM HT/12:10 PM PT/3:10 PM ET with Noah Syndergaard facing Max Scherzer. I have no confidence so I’ll probably sleep in, which means they might win.