The bats, still quiet, put just two runs on the board in 10 innings on Sunday afternoon. The pitching, excellent as it has been all season, limited the Giants to just one run in the second game of the weather abbreviated series with the Giants. And Kershaw, the pride, and joy of this young Dodgers team put together a classic Clayton Kershaw performance; one in which he pitched into the eighth inning.
The season numbers for Clayton have been skewed to this point. In back to back starts prior to Sunday’s match, Kershaw was tagged with two losses. Those two defeats in two games had little to do with his pitching so much as it did with the batting of his teammates. The bats in those first two start, silent.
Kershaw’s Dodgers on opening day gave him nothing. Opportunity after opportunity the Dodger batters squandered chances and flailed at the plate in a game they would lose one to nothing. In that game, Clayton pitched a total of six innings. He gave up eight hits, an uncharacteristically high number, and in there was a single home run. He walked two batters and struck out seven but the story here was not the numbers it was the shot at a win that he gave his team. Opening day was a quality start and subpar batting
The second start for Kershaw was much of the same. He surrendered two runs instead of one across the same six innings he pitched in the first game of the year. In this game, he walked just one batter and struck out six. And again, the Dodger offense, combined with a late-inning bullpen collapse, lead to Kershaw’s second straight quality loss.
“I didn’t have much in the tank today and I was not so sharp. It wasn’t pretty but we’ll take it today” Kershaw said of his start in San Francisco. That empty tank lasted him seven shutout innings. He gave up a run in the eight on a hit he did not surrender and struck out six.
Kershaw was excellent again. He worked into the eighth and propelled the Dodgers to a win Dave Roberts would go on to describe as “crucial.” This crucial win came after a week of devastating losses and could very well serve as the turning point for The Boys in Blue.
Outside of Kershaw, the Dodgers showed signs of life with the bat all while showing fans they still have some issues. The team went 2-9 with runners in scoring position and hit just two extra-base hits.
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Kyle Farmer was the hero of the day hitting a two-out double in the tenth that would go on to be the winning run of the day.
And, most importantly, Kenley Jansen looked like himself in his fourth appearance of the season. Kenley struck out the side and aside from an infield single from Hunter Pence, he was dominant.
The velocity, which was of major concern for the fans, was sitting at 92-94 miles per hour.
The Dodgers have the day off on Monday followed by a two-game series with the Oakland A’s in Los Angeles.
Hyun Jin Ryu will take the mound on Tuesday in place of Alex Wood, whose star was pushed back a day due to food poisoning from a poorly made steak quesadilla in his hotel.
All in all, things look to be on the mend for a team that has struggled through the first nine games.