Clayton Kershaw tossed his second complete game of the season as the Dodgers took the finale against the Mets and earned a series split.
The Dodgers struggling offense got off to a hot start this time around, as Chase Utley and Corey Seager hit back to back singles on Bartolo Colon‘s first two pitches. Justin Turner followed with a single of his own to put the Dodgers on the board, and Yasmani Grandal hit his second dinger in as many nights to put the Dodgers up 4-0.
Chase Utley added a solo shot in the second to make it 5-0, which was more than enough for Clayton Kershaw. At this point, it’s more notable if Kershaw DOESN’T have a no-hitter through three. Asdrubal Cabrera ruined the fun by leading off the fourth with a single, but was erased on a double play. Also notable, Kershaw walked David Wright in the first inning, which is something he hadn’t done in three starts.
Kershaw posted his fifth consecutive start with double digit strikeouts, and he has only issued two free passes in that stretch, including tonight’s. Kershaw finished the night allowing three hits, one walk and striking out 13. His K/BB plummeted to 19.25, which if he can somehow continue this pace, would be nearly 8.00 better than the ML record (Phil Hughes, 11.36 in 2014). For reference, the second highest in baseball this season belongs to Colon, who has a 9.00 K/BB rate. #SecondBestPitcherInBaseball nickyoungshrug.JPEG.
While the offense exploded early, they struggled for much of the game. Utley added a third hit in the fifth, and the Dodgers didn’t get another baserunner until Turner lined a one-out single in the eighth. Yasiel Puig scorched the ball in his first two plate appearances and had nothing to show for it. However, Adrian Gonzalez still looked awful at the plate. That’s very concerning as he hasn’t been his butter-and-eggs self of late.
I’m running out of words to describe how phenomenal it is to get to watch Kershaw every five days. I haven’t pitched since my wiffleball days, but I assume it’s not an easy thing to do. Kershaw makes it look so easy. Combine that with Grandal stealing him some strikes that A.J. Ellis absolutely doesn’t, and we had a really fast game and nine pitches away from a Maddux.
Looking at where the two teams were on Sunday and the pitching matchups, I am thrilled with a series split, especially at home where the Dodgers have struggled this season. The Dodgers were very much in every game, so while they were a couple clutch hits from a four-game sweep, a split works just fine, especially with no other team in the division separating themself thus far.