Dodgers 1, Cardinals 0: Clayton Kershaw turns in vintage performance over 7 shutout

The Dodgers have got their homestand off to an ideal start, taking back-to-back games from the Cardinals to start the series after a 1-0 win that seemed more like a game the Dodgers would’ve played a decade ago. Luckily, that included Clayton Kershaw turning back the clock as well.


Vintage Kershaw is becoming a surprisingly common occurrence in the Hall Of Famer’s 16th season, and tonight may have been his best. Honestly, he had the stuff and command today to threaten perfecto territory, and that’s what he did early.

Kershaw made it through 4.1 innings flawless, but gave up a Dylan Carlson single to break everything up. No matter, he went right back to work and ended up surrendering just another single the rest of the way, which was until the 8th when Dave Roberts removed him.

A move presumably to protect him from his injury history, but a frustrating one: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K, 88 Pitches.

Opposite from him was Jordan Montgomery, who was impressive in his own right, almost matching him inning for inning.

But not quite.

The Dodgers started out relatively promising, getting a single, stolen base, and walk in the 1st with one out but not taking advantage. Then a James Outman single to start the 2nd led to a stolen base and advancing to third on a deflection off him, which was cashed in by Austin Barnes of all people to make it 1-0.

Unfortunately, that was about it for the Dodgers against Montgomery, as he gave up just a single from the 3rd to 6th innings. The bats seemed to mount a rally in the 7th, as Miguel Vargas led off with a double, but back-to-back outs put that in jeopardy. After a walk to Barnes, Montgomery’s day was done, but Jordan Hicks came in and struck out Mookie Betts on two pitches (after a strike due to a pitch clock violation).

The 8th provided more of the same as Freddie Freeman started the inning with a walk, but Hicks notched back-to-back strikeouts to follow. Genesis Cabrera entered for Max Muncy, and he allowed Freeman to steal and then walked Muncy, but got Vargas to lineout to center to keep the score at 1-0.

In relief of Kershaw was Evan Phillips in the 8th, and he started hot with back-to-back strikeouts. However, a walk led to a Chris Taylor error that put two runners on, though Phillips was luckily able to get out of it with a lineout.

The 9th belonged to Brusdar Graterol, who got a flyout and a comebacker to start, but then gave up a single grounded past Freddie. However, he rebounded with a grounder back up the middle to close the game out.


Dodgers need to figure out what to do with Trayce Thompson.

Not including today, he has a 1.075 OPS against righties and a .478 OPS against lefties this year, similar to his 1.010 and .621 splits from last year. I’m more inclined to use those as data points since they came after his back got healthy again, but even for his career he’s at a .764 and .695 split.


Caption this.


15-13! A miracle!

The series finale will be at 10:10 AM HT/1:10 PM PT/4:10 PM ET tomorrow with Noah Syndergaard facing Jake Woodford.

About Chad Moriyama

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