September 19, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) is relieved in the eighth inning by manager Don Mattingly (8) in the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
I mean yeah it was frustrating, Kershaw sets the standards so high that a performance like tonight is just a “meh” performance, 3 earned runs is blasphemous for Clayton in any start, but the runs he did give up were mostly a matter of inches, i.e. Andrew McCutchen‘s double to plate 2 runs.
On the bright side, Howie Kendrick is back! He plated Justin Ruggiano in the first inning, and having a healthy Howie will be a strong addition to the lineup. Everything else was pretty ehhhh aside from A.J. Ellis doubling home Alex Guerrero in the 7th
But mostly you just tip your cap to Liriano who has some incredible stuff, he shut down a pretty okay offense and the Pirates bullpen made sure that the Dodgers couldn’t do anything else.
Some good news: Yimi Garcia‘s FIP is 3.14 and his ERA is 3.08, the command could be better, but he challenges everybody, there is zero reason for when the games matter, for him to not be a high leverage option, he’s the 2nd best reliever the Dodgers have at this point, I’d like to see him in a definitive role, whether that’s setup man, or fireman type reliever to put out a bad situation.
I mean I get why someone would be upset at the result, the Dodgers lost. But it’s harder and harder to find fault in this performance when it’s this late in the season, and the Dodgers’ magic number is down to 7.