Dodgers manager Don Mattingly summed it up nicely after Clayton Kershaw became the latest Los Angeles starter to shut down the sinking Phillies.
"Kershaw’s pretty good," Mattingly said.
The young ace pitched eight dominant innings and the seemingly unstoppable Dodgers won their 10th straight Saturday night, beating Philadelphia 5-0 to keep the Phillies scoreless in two games under new manager Ryne Sandberg.
Juan Uribe hit a three-run homer, Kershaw had an RBI double and the NL West leaders improved to 25-3 after the All-Star break. They have won 19 of their last 20 road games and are 42-8 overall since June 22, the best 50-game stretch in the majors since the 1942 St. Louis Cardinals had the same record.
The previous team to win 19 of 20 road games was the 1916 New York Giants, according to STATS.
The 10-game winning streak is the longest for Los Angeles since an 11-game run in 2006.
Meanwhile, the slumping Phillies have yet to cross home plate since manager Charlie Manuel was fired Friday in the middle of a second-half swoon. They were blanked 4-0 by Zack Greinke and the Dodgers in Sandberg’s debut and have now lost 21 of 25.
"Their pitching showed what it can do, and they’re on a hot streak right now," Sandberg said. "We faced two hot pitchers, and they came as advertised."
Both teams were .500 at the All-Star break.
Kershaw (12-7) allowed three hits and lowered his NL-best ERA to 1.80. He struck out eight and walked one.
"One thing he does is he attacks the strike zone just pitch after pitch," Mattingly said. "He’s going to be around it and he’s going to make you hit him, and it’s not like he’s going to waste a lot of pitches. Tonight’s a good example: He’s at 100 pitches through eight. He could’ve went back out there."
Uribe singled and doubled before hitting a three-run shot to break the game open in the eighth.
"He’s playing unbelievable for us right now," Kershaw said. "Not just offensively. Defensively he makes every play, and you take it for granted as a pitcher. But Juan’s been huge for me. I get a lot of ground balls over there and he makes every single play."
The win was Kershaw’s first in nine career games against the Phillies. The left-hander also helped himself at the plate with a run-scoring double. His seven RBIs lead the Dodgers’ pitching staff.
Brandon League worked the ninth to secure Los Angeles’ major league-best 16th shutout. It was the 12th time the Phillies have been blanked this season.
Philadelphia’s lone threat came in the eighth, when Casper Wells doubled and John Mayberry Jr. walked with one out. But Erik Kratz popped out and after a wild pitch, pinch-hitter Carlos Ruiz struck out.
"I had pretty decent fastball command tonight," Kershaw said. "I was able to throw the ball to both sides of the plate decently, and I felt good. Other than that walk to Mayberry, I felt like I had decent control, took advantage of their aggressiveness for the most part tonight and got some quick outs."
Kyle Kendrick (10-10) labored through six effective innings for the Phillies, yielding two runs and seven hits. He was aided by four double plays, including ones that ended the third, fourth and fifth innings.
The Dodgers opened the game with two singles and scored their first run when Mayberry let a grounder get by him at first base for an error. Los Angeles could have had more, but Andre Ethier grounded into bases-loaded double play.
"Had a couple of chances just to add on, and until real late we didn’t do it," Mattingly said. "Those kind of games always make you nervous."
Uribe and Kershaw hit consecutive doubles in the fifth to make it 2-0.
Domonic Brown got the Phillies’ first hit in the fifth inning. He was later picked off first base.
NOTES:Kershaw also leads the NL in innings (190 1-3) and strikeouts (182). … The Dodgers boast the National League’s best winning percentage away from home at .583 (35-25). They have won six straight games at Citizens Bank Park. … Phillies RHP Roy Halladay will make his second minor league rehab start Tuesday with Class-A Lakewood. Halladay (2-4, 8.65 ERA) has not pitched since May 5. … Phillies RHP Jonathan Pettibone will also make a rehab start Tuesday, for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. … Cole Hamels (5-13, 3.65) is scheduled to start for the Phillies in the series finale against Ricky Nolasco (9-9, 3.62).