There’s more than just one or two great players doing their thing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but Clayton Kershaw is clearly the most special of all, putting on another fine pitching performance to carry his team to a 5-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers and improve their lead situation in the NL West.
How good was Kershaw this time? Book won’t be written about this performance and his defense helped out a bit. Still, eight innings with six hits, two walks, six strikeouts and just one earned run, giving up a single to Ryan Braun in the first inning before completely taking over the game. The Dodgers even got an RBI from Kershaw, his second of the season, as his single in the eighth inning drove home Miguel Rojas.
Kenley Jansen came on for one final inning to finish the job as the Dodgers had a field day against the Brewers pitching, hitting 15-for-39 at the plate. Rojas himself had three hits but no RBIs. A.J. Ellis hit a home run, Adrian Gonzalez finished with two RBIs, including a sacrifice fly that brought the jack-of-all-trade Kershaw home. Matt Kemp also added an RBI, with the Dodgers improving to 67-52, opening a 4.5 game lead over the San Francisco Giants.
The Brewers had Jimmy Nelson start and give up two runs in six innings, not too bad. The trouble started later on, and especially in the end, with Marco Estrada providing a woeful finish to the end. He pitched for two innings, gave up four hits and two runs. The Brewers couldn’t bring in any run support with 6-for-30 on the day. Braun did well with two hits, but that was about it as Aramis Ramirez and Mark Reynolds both finished without a hit.
This was the 17th time Kershaw has pitched eight innings or more while giving up only one run or less over the last two seasons, three more such games than Adam Wainright and four more than Felix Hernandez. His hitting, obviously, in nowhere near that kind of level with a .186 batting average, but for one day his performances at the plate were just as good as those on the mound.
It’s fun to feel like a baseball player every once in a while. We get labeled as pitchers only sometimes so it’s fun to get some dirt on your jersey every once in a while.