First things first: Ten years ago today, a young pitcher named Clayton Kershaw made his Major League Debut. That day, Kershaw faced the St. Louis Cardinals and pitched fairly well. He tossed six innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out seven. Since then, Kershaw has put together one of the best careers a pitcher could hope to have. He is certainly on his way to Cooperstown after he retires. Here’s a list of his accomplishments:
- 7x All Star
- 3x Cy Young Award Winner
- 2014 NL MVP
- 5x ERA Leader
- 3x NL Wins Leader
- 3x Strikeout Leader
- 2x Roy Campanella Award
- 4x Warren Spahn Award
- Roberto Clemente Award
- Gold Glove Award
- No Hitter in 2014
- 3x Player’s Choice Award for National League Outstanding Pitcher
- Player’s Choice Award for Player Of The Year
So the Dodgers lost the first game, another gem by Walker Buehler that was wasted. Luckily, the Dodgers came back to win the final two games of the series. In doing so, Los Angeles pulled to within 3.5 games back of first place! Oh and it’s never to cool to gloat but, the Diamondbacks have plummeted immensely over the last few weeks. A team that was performing so well and steamrolling just fell off and has lost nine of their last ten games. All of sudden, no one is coming out from under their rocks to brag about the Dbacks doing so well. I guess that’s karma, and I guess I oughta stop talking about this before I turn into one of those bragging fans. Anyways, lets talk about the games!
Coming off of an amazing three game sweep of the Washington Nationals and riding a four game win streak, you’d think the Dodgers would come back to LA and continue that hot streak. Yeah, no that didn’t happen on Monday night. Walker Buehler took the mound and pitched like an ace. In fact, it’s safe to say that he will be the eventual replacement for Clayton Kershaw. Buehler was throwing a perfect game going into the fifth inning and I just hoped that it wouldn’t be a game where one mistake changes it all. Unfortunately, a mistake was made to the first batter of the fifth inning, Gerardo Parra, who hit a Solo Home Run to tie the game at one. Immediately after Parra’s Home Run, Rockies’ shortstop, Trevor Story, hit a line drive right back at Buehler. Buehler didn’t have time to react and took the line drive right off the ribs. The positive is that Buehler got the out and remained in the game. He would come out of the game after the seventh inning. At the end of the day, Walker Buehler’s final line was: 7.0 IP, 2 hits, 1 Earned Run, no walks and 6 strikeouts.
The game was a nail biter the whole way through. There wasn’t a lot of scoring, only three runs. After scoring 22 runs during their four game win streak, the Dodgers mysteriously fell off and couldn’t score any runs. Ahh they had returned to the inconsistent Dodgers for Monday night’s game. The Dodgers only run of the game came from a Max Muncy Solo Home Run.
When Walker Buehler left after the seventh inning, the game was tied at one run a piece. Annnddddd, that’s when Pedro Baez came into the game. I’m sorry, it’s sad but this guy is becoming a walking meme for us Dodger fans. Still, with all of his struggles, he has never been optioned or sent down to the minor leagues to work on his performance or mechanics. I guess we will never know what the real story is with Pedro Baez. Anyways, as soon as Baez came into the game, he gave up the go ahead run. Now, I don’t think I’m being fair here, Baez walked a batter who stole second after he got on base. After a throwing error from Grandal, the runner on second advanced to third. Then, Carlos Gonzalez singled on what should’ve been an out but Chase Utley made a bad throwing error. This allowed the runner on third to score. Soooo, really when you think about it if Pedro Baez didn’t walk that batter, none of this would’ve happened.
The Dodgers would lose the first game of the series, 2-1. Ending their four game win streak and pushing them back to 5.5 games back of first place.
Trying to get back in the win column, LA recalled Brock Stewart from Triple-A to fill in for the injured Rich Hill. Now, I know everything will be alright with Hill but, he is a frustrating pitcher to talk about. The guy can’t stay away from a blister to save his life. Anyways, Brock Stewart started the game and pitched alright for his first start of the season. Stewart’s final line for Tuesday night was: 4.0 IP, 5 hits, 2 Earned Runs, one walk and only one strikeout. The positive for Stewart is that he had some help on offense and the bullpen actually did well after he left the game.
After Stewart left the game, the Dodger’s bullpen came in to save the day. Recently acquired, Eric Goeddel came in for the fifth inning and was perfect. Although he didn’t strike anyone out, he didn’t give up any hits or runs either. Following Goeddel, JT Chargois came in to pitch the sixth inning and would ultimately get the win. Chargois did give up a run to give the Rockies a 3-2 lead. Luckily, he only allowed the one run and no more. Chargois has been another wild pitcher in the Dodgers bullpen. This resulted in him being sent down to the Triple-A team to work on his command. Oh sure, let’s option Chargois but not Baez!!!!
With the Dodgers down 3-2 at the bottom of the sixth inning, Matt Kemp lead off the inning with a single. Then Cody Bellinger grounded into a force out which lead to Matt Kemp being out at second, Bellinger being safe at first. Right after that, Chris Taylor SMOKED a hanging breaking ball off of Bryan Shaw for a 2-Run Home Run. Immediately after that, Yasiel Puig hit a Solo Home Run to Left Field! The Home Run’s were the sixth of the season for Taylor and the fifth for Puig. Puig has been on a good surge for the past couple of weeks or so. All five of his Home Run’s have come since Mother’s Day. At the end of the sixth inning, the Dodgers were leading 5-3.
Tony Cingrani and Josh Fields held down the fort until they could get the ball to Kenley Jansen. Jansen came into the game in the ninth inning and only allowed one hit. To top it off, Kenley Jansen got Pat Valaika to strike out to end the inning and the game. Kenley Jansen collected his ninth save of the year as they beat the Rockies, 5-3.
The series finale on Wednesday night was started by Kenta Maeda. Once again, Maeda pitched an amazing game for the Dodgers. With a rotation that is banged up by injuries, Maeda looks like he has picked up the slack. After pitching eight innings last week against the Marlins, Maeda pitched 6.2 innings against the Rockies. The final stat line for Maeda on Wednesday night was: 6.2 IP, 4 hits, 4 walks and 12 Strikeouts. Those 12 Strikeouts were just one short of Maeda’s career high. Since Kenta left the game with 2 outs left in the seventh inning, Dave Roberts brought in Pedro Baez to finish the inning. Which he did, without giving up a run. Shocker.
To start off the eighth inning, Scott Alexander was called upon to bridge the gap to Kenley Jansen. He did his job but allowed a base hit in the process. Finally for the second game in a row, Kenley Jansen came in and struck out three of the four batters he faced. Jansen is finally returning to his dominant self. This was Jansen’s 10th save of the season and his 240th Career Save! Now, I don’t think Jansen will crack the “600 Club” for Saves but I do think he will have close to 500 by the end of his career. But hey, if he does make it into the “600 Club”, more power to him.
The Dodgers didn’t necessarily have a “big” hit on Wednesday night. However, they managed to score three runs. The first run came in the fourth inning when Logan Forsythe hit a Ground-Rule Double which scored Justin Turner. Going to third on the play was Kiké Hernandez. Following Forsythe’s hit, Puig grounded into a force out which lead to Hernandez scoring, Forsythe being thrown out at third and Puig advancing to second base on the throw. At the end of the fourth inning, the Dodgers lead 2-0.
Following the fourth inning, the Dodgers would mount another offensive push in the bottom of the fifth. With Austin Barnes on third and Justin Turner on first, Matt Kemp flew out to left field which scored Austin Barnes from third. During that same play, Justin Turner tried advancing to second but was tagged out. Nonetheless, the Dodgers would leave the inning with a 3-0 lead. That lead lasted the entire game as the Dodgers would win. Now, only 3.5 games back from first place, the Dodgers need to keep this momentum going while they have a chance to take first place.
This Memorial Day weekend, the Dodgers take on the San Diego Padres. Ross Stripling starts tonight against Clayton Richard. Alex Wood gets the start tomorrow against Jordan Lyles and on Sunday, Walker Buehler will get the start. Here we go, Dodgers!