Dodgers Recaps: Clayton Kershaw and His First Pitch Posey Problems


The Dodgers did not Fight On during USC night at Dodger Stadium, and the Giants out aced the Dodgers in a tough pitching duel. Clayton Kershaw hasn’t exactly looked like his dominant self this season so far, but he’s not bad or anything. Buster Posey jumped on two first pitches from Kershaw, and that was the difference in the game.

Madison Bumgarner was once again in complete control, and he didn’t let Alex Guerrero get to him this time. The only Dodger who put an accent mark on his night at the plate was Kiké Hernandez who had two hits off the lefty.

Joaquin Arias also had a good night with the bat, and he amazingly collected three hits off Kershaw.

Dodgers 1 5 0

Giants 2 10 1

WP- Bumgarner (2-1)

LP- Kershaw (1-2)

S- Casilla (6)

HR- Posey (3)

Before I could even fire up my laptop, the Dodgers were already down 1-0 after the first inning. Angel Pagan doubled off the left field wall over Alex Guerrero’s head who started off the wrong way on a terrible route, and Buster Posey drove him home with a single to right field.

Juan Uribe made a fantastic play at third base in the second inning to retire Casey McGehee who hit a ball off Kershaw’s glove. Uribe came up like a golden gloved angel and threw out Casey just in time. Alex Guerrero surely could not have made that play.

"“Ryan Vogelsong with that good strong beard.”-Vin Scully"

The Dodgers had but one hit against Bumgarner through three innings, but the Giants tacked on a second run in the top of the fourth thanks to a Buster Posey solo homerun off Kershaw. Kershaw has now allowed four homeruns this season thus far. He only allowed 9 homeruns all season long in 2014.

More from Dodgers Way

The Dodgers finally mustered a second hit off of Madison Bumgarner in the bottom of the fourth when Jimmy Rollins hit a leadoff single. Kiké Hernandez, who was just called up after Carl Crawford was placed on the disabled list with a strained oblique, doubled to center field. Angel Pagan got his glove on the ball, but he couldn’t hold on to it. The Dodgers did score a run on a ball hit to short by Howie Kendrick, but Hernandez was caught between second and third on the fielder’s choice.

Angel Pagan was Kershaw’s seventh strikeout victim in the top of the sixth, and Pagan argued with the home plate umpire on the second called strike (which was borderline) briefly before he retreated to the visitor’s dugout.

Kiké Hernandez came up with his second hit of the game off MadBum in the bottom of the seventh to lead off. Move over, Alex Guerrero.

Alex Guerrero got the start in left field for the Dodgers on Tuesday night. Photo: Janine Roach

The Dodgers couldn’t get any traction against Bumgarner once again. Guerrero, who hit a game tying seventh inning homerun against the southpaw in the first match up between Kersh and MadBum went 0-for-3 against the ace this time around.

Clayton Kershaw pitched 7 innings and allowed 2 runs on 7 hits with 8 strikeouts and no walks on 92 pitches.

J.P. Howell took over for Kersh in the eighth, and no Dodger pitcher has pitched eight innings yet this season. Kershaw will have to wait at least one more start to capture that elusive 100th career win. Howell, who has seemingly been struggling since last September, promptly allowed two singles to Nori Aoki and Angel Pagan.

Don Mattingly brought the hook, and he replaced the battered lefty with Pedro Baez. Baez induced a pop up from Posey, and he retired Justin Maxwell this time (last time he faced Maxwell it didn’t go so well).

Bumgarner was cruising right along, and he sent the Dodgers down in order in the bottom of the eighth while striking out both Hernandez and Justin Turner.

Madison Bumgarner pitched 8 innings and allowed 1 run on 5 hits with 9 strikeouts and 1 walk on 110 pitches.

Interestingly, both Kershaw and Bumgarner have an identical 3.73 E.R.A. now.

Paco Rodriguez had a rough inning in the ninth and loaded the bases up after he walked two and allowed a single to Brandon Crawford. It was up to Sergio Santos to get the final out. Justin Turner made a nice play to feed Santos and end the inning.

Santiago Casilla came out of the San Francisco bullpen to shut the door on the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth. The inning went as well as the previous eight for the Dodgers, and Adrian Gonzalez ended the night with a pinch-hit strikeout.

The Dodgers drop to 12-8 on the season, and they lost their second home game of the season. Wednesday the series with the Giants will conclude when Zack Greinke takes on Ryan Vogelsong.