September 2, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) reacts following his last strike out for the complete game 2-1 victory against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Clayton Kershaw is pitching pretty good this season, he came into this game with 236 strikeouts on the season. He finished the game with 251 strikeouts on the season. Some nifty math would tell us that he struck out 15 batters and only walked one en route to his 12th win of the season, and my god that 132 pitch performance was magical, 35 recorded swing and misses sets a Pitch fx record.
He totally fooled Giants hitters all night with only Marlon Byrd making solid contact, he came within 2 feet of hitting a dinger off of Kershaw to tie the game at 1, he was in trouble only twice, and faced the minumum well into the 6th inning where a leadoff walk issued to Kelby Tomlinson quickly turned into a “pickoff” that was reversed, Tomlinson then stole second and came around on an Angel Pagan “single” aided by Justin Turner‘s suddenly lacking glove.
Oh and he ran into some trouble in the 9th inning where it was clear that Kershaw was finishing that game, Luis Avilan and Jim Johnson were “warming”, not Kenley Jansen who pitched 4 of the last 5 games, after he got the first two batters out without issue, Matt Duffy had a gritty at bat, singling to left field and after a long PA to Posey, he singled to center field, and with 127 pitches, Clayton convinced Don to let him stay in the game.
The game was in the balance and Kershaw dominated Marlon Byrd, the only guy to make good contact off of him all night to finish off the 2nd most impressive performance i’ve ever seen him give.
The scoring got underway with Carl Crawford doubling in Justin Turner, and an Angel Pagan error ensured that Turner scored from first base to put the Dodgers up 1-0. Also former Dodgers killer, Chase Utley hit the go ahead dong in the bottom of the 6th inning to put the Dodgers up for good, watching him hit is way better than watching Alberto Callaspo hit, that’s for sure.
So basically the best pitcher of our generation pitched one of the most impressive games he’s ever pitched and the Dodgers take a 6.5 game lead going into a very easy part of the schedule, and the magic number is down to 24. Pretty good. Pretty pretty pretty good.