Still Brewing: Clayton Kershaw Can’t Get Elusive 100th Win

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Craig Counsell‘s first day on the job as the new Milwaukee manager wasn’t an easy one. He only had to face Clayton Kershaw in his managerial debut. No big deal. The 44-year old skipper pulled off his first win, and the last-place Brewers could be in for an overhaul should they not get out of the basement in the N.L. Central.

Kershaw was dealing, but then he was not.

Kershaw looked like his old self (not like Kershaw is ever bad exactly). There was a bad balk call which sort of got him out of his rhythm momentarily, and there was an uncharacteristic error. Unfortunately Chris Hatcher couldn’t hold the lead in the eighth after Kershaw allowed a homerun and a double in the fateful frame.

Dodgers 3 6 1

Brewers 4 7 0

WP- Blazek (2-0)

LP- Hatcher (0-3)

S- F. Rodriguez (5)

HR- Pederson (7), H. Gomez (1)

Joc Pederson was ready to go before the first pitch, and he jumped all over Kyle Lohse with a leadoff homerun to right center field. Joc is amazing. That’s his seventh homerun of his rookie season. Lohse settled down quick, and he struck out both Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick after the solo homerun. Adrian Gonzalez, who was named the National League Player of the Month for the first time in his career (surprisingly), drew the two-out walk versus Lohse. Scott Van Slyke lined out, but the Dodgers still took the early 1-0 lead.

Clayton Kershaw started off the game with a delicious trio of strikeouts. Kersh has that 100th career win in his crosshairs, and he has brought his A game tonight to Miller Park. Also, the Milwaukee Brewers are pretty bad.

Yasmani Grandal, who admitted he was playing with a hurt shoulder this season, is now looking much better at the plate. The switch-hitting catcher hit a one-out double against Lohse in the second inning. Lohse was able to retire Juan Uribe and Clayton Kershaw to end any threat.

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Kershaw struck out the first four batters he saw. Aramis Ramirez argued briefly with the home plate umpire after he was called out on a check swing. Jimmy Rollins made a spectacular play deep from short to get Martin Maldonado at first for the third out.

The Dodgers went down in order against Lohse in the third.

Clayton made a ninja-like move to retire former Dodger Elian Herrera on a comebacker which was snared from behind his back. After that, things became unraveled. Kyle Lohse, of all players, singled off Kersh to break the string of retired batters. Then Kersh seemingly had Lohse picked off first, but the umpires call a balk on him. Kershaw argued momentarily before Don Mattingly took over and was subsequently ejected. Mattingly wisely stepped in and prevented his starting pitcher from getting thrown out of the game.

May 4, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez (16) reacts after being called out on strikes in the second inning during the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Gonzalez was on base again in the fourth after getting hit by a pitch. Andre Ethier continued his hot hitting with a single to left field. Yasmani Grandal then hit a RBI single over the head of Carlos Gomez in center field. Ethier came home on a sacrifice fly by Juan Uribe ahead of Gomez’s throw to the plate, and the Dodgers took a 3-0 lead.

Kershaw looked like the Kersh we know and love in this game. He allowed but one measly hit to the opposing pitcher through five dominant innings.

Kyle Lohse threw a lot of pitches, and he was out of the game by the sixth inning.

Kyle Lohse pitched 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits with 4 strikeouts and 3 walks on 105 pitches.

Neal Cotts took over for Lohse, and the locked in Grandal hit a one-out single in the sixth. Juan Uribe dropped a single to shallow center field to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. Elian Herrera could not get to it in time. Kershaw foul bunted out after having a good, long at-bat. Then Cotts reared back to strike out Pederson, and the Dodgers stranded both runners.

The Brewers finally got a taste of the game in the sixth. They hit back-to-back triples off Kershaw, a Hector Gomez triple to the far right field corner and a Gerardo Parra triple to center field netted a Milwaukee run. Uribe saved a second run by gunning down Parra at home on a grounder hit by big first baseman Jason Rogers. Kershaw suddenly came back down to Earth.

Kershaw committed a throwing error on a pickoff attempt of Carlos Gomez with Ryan Braun at the plate. He threw the ball away past Adrian Gonzalez at first. Kershaw got Braun to swing at a ball in the dirt, and the damage was contained to one run for the Brewers.

Michael Blazek pitched a scoreless eighth for the Brew Crew.

May 4, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly argues with first base umpire Paul Emmel after he was ejected from the game in the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Kershaw became the first Dodgers starting pitcher to record an out in the eighth inning. It was a comebacker hit by Herrera to Kersh which was backed up by Kendrick. Then Hector Gomez let loose, and he hit a huge solo homerun to left center field, his first of the season. It suddenly became a one-run game. Pinch-hitter Adam Lind took a high Kershaw slider for a ride to right center field for a one-out double. That would be all for Kershaw after interim manager Tim Wallach came out to the mound to retrieve the ace.

Chris Hatcher came in to face Carlos Gomez with the tying run at second. Gomez proceeded to double to the left field gap, and the game is all tied up 3-3 just like that. Kershaw can’t get the win now. Then Ryan Braun singled to third base and drove in the lead run even though Uribe made a fantastic play to make it close at first. Wallach challenged the play, but the call was upheld.

Clayton Kershaw pitched 7 1/3 innings and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits with 8 strikeouts and no walks on 91 pitches.

After the three-run inning from Milwaukee, the Dodgers only had three outs to try to tie this thing up. Francisco Rodrigue struck out Joc Pederson, Rollins grounded out and Kendrick struck out.

The Dodgers drop to 16-9 on the season, and that snapped their four-game winning streak. They are 3-7 on the road.

Tuesday afternoon will feature a great matchup between Zack Greinke and Matt Garza. Greinke will be vying for his fifth victory on the season.

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