There’s nothing surprising about Clayton Kershaw putting on a performance, but a complete game while allowing only two hits and shutting out the San Francisco Giants? Things are going well for the Los Angeles Dodgers lately, both on the mound and at the plate, taking yet another game in AT&T Park, this time winning 5-0.
It’s the second straight win over the Giants, overtaking them in the NL West by 0.5 games at the moment. Kershaw, 12-2 with a 1.76 ERA, has won his ninth consecutive decision, more than anyone else in Baseball this season, and his performance through nine innings brought him to a career ERA of 1.40 against the Giants. That’s the best by any pitcher against one opponent over the last 100 years with a minimum of 20 starts, leading by 0.04 over Sandy Koufax who has a 1.44 ERA against the Mets.
It wasn’t all Kershaw, who struck out seven batters with his mixture of fastballs, sinkers and breaking balls, while allowing just one walk. The Dodgers scored their five runs between the fourth and seventh innings, making it a rough ending for Ryan Vogelsong and that streak carried on to his relief man, Jean Machi who also gave up one run.
Juan Uribe, who has one a World Series with the Giants, finished with two RBIs on a single and a double, as the Dodgers got four extra base hits on the day. Adrian Gonzalez reached 68 RBIs this season with a single and Hanley Ramirez got to 51 with another one. Carl Crawford grounding out helped Puig score in the sixth inning, as the Dodgers connected on 11-for-37 when at the plate and finished with 4-for-12 with runners in scoring positions.
There’s not much to note about the Giants and their hitting: Gregor Blanco got one, Michael Morse got one as well. Morse also walked once, but that was it. A day after losing 8-1 as the momentum between the two teams in the race for the top spot in the division commenced after the All-Star break, the Giants were proven that right now they’re in a very bad spot and need to shake whatever it is that’s dragging them down quickly.
The Dodgers for almost half the season looked like one big disappointing case of underachievers, not to mention expensive. But things are under control. The lineup seems to be more certain and solid while Kershaw is truly putting on a superhuman season together, as consistent as he is excellent from game to game. It takes a lot more to win a World Series, but the thing this team was put together to do look a lot more possible now.