The Arizona Diamondbacks had one of their better moments of a so-so season with a 18-7 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers, as Paul Goldschmidt put in quite a show at the plate with two home runs, although unlike some of his other teammates he wasn’t part of the gang that made Clayton Kershaw look light years away from the best pitcher in baseball he is often referred to as.
Kershaw picked up his first loss of the season and didn’t even make it through the second inning, giving up six hits and 7 earned runs while striking out three and walking two more, taken off after 1.2 on the mound. Things didn’t get much better for the Dodgers without him, as Jamey Wright, Chris Withrow, Chris Perez and Drew Butera all got battered by a Arizona team that was 4-18 at home going into the game and were shutout in a 7-0 loss that opened the series.
Paul Goldschmidt didn’t get any big hits off of Kershaw, but he stood a bit above the rest on a special night for the Diamondbacks. He finished with 4-for-5 on the plate, hitting two home runs and finished with six RBIs. A.J. Pollock also had four hits and a home run (two RBIs) as Chris Owings and Eric Chavez added homers as well. We also saw a triple from Cliff Pennington, Pollock and Owings in an extra base bonanza.
No one saw this coming for Kershaw. Before the game, he had given up only four extra base hits this season. In the nightmarish second inning (7-0 by the end of it), giving up four extra base hits including three triples. He had a 25-to-1 K’s to walks ratio going into the game, but walked two in the second inning, as his ERA for the loss was a whopping 37.80 and allowing batters to hit a .600 against him.
Manager Don Mattingly seemed to be just as stunned as anyone by Kershaw’s “out-of-place” performance: It’s kind of shocking anytime he has an inning like that. You expect him to go seven or eight and give up two or three runs or less. If you can score you have a good chance of winning. It’s definitely not the norm with him.
Chase Anderson didn’t have a great day for the Diamondbacks on the mound, but now he is 2-0 this season. He allowed 7 hits in 5.1 innings resulting in five earned runs including two home runs, but on a day like this you didn’t really need a quality start from your pitcher to walk away comfortably. The Diamondbacks were dominating the final three innings, not giving up a single hit to a team that is in the top 9 of almost every hitting category there is.
This doesn’t make Kershaw any less of a pitcher; anyone has days like these. But this season, coming off that huge extension and being part of the heralded rotation and bullpen the Dodgers have, there was something of an invincibility aura to the 26 year old. Turns out that even being the best doesn’t mean you’re immune to mistakes, or games that might haunt him for some time.