Dodgers 2 Yankees 0: Kershaw Good, Bats Not So Much (Until the 9th)
The Dodgers took the finale in New York with some late inning heroics (and help from the Yankees)
The Dodgers pulled out a late victory in the finale against the Yankees. They pushed through a pair of rain delays, but a 2-0 win makes it all worth it.
After missing badly with his first two pitches, Clayton Kershaw began to look like Clayton Kershaw.
Kershaw needed 11 pitches to throw a perfect first. He followed it up with a 10 pitch second, and capped that off with a nine pitch third inning. In his first time through the lineup, only two balls were fielded by outfielders. Kershaw struck out two, but looked a lot better through three.
Kershaw’s outing was jeopardized by rain in the forecast, as it started raining hard in the top of the fourth. It was a long inning with the Dodgers threatening to score, but after the inning the tarp came out.
Fortunately, the rain delay was quite short, and Kershaw remained in the game. He had his most inefficient inning in the fourth, needing 14 whole pitches to retire the side in order again. After the Dodgers went quietly, the game went into another rain delay.
For some reason, Kershaw stayed in after a 48 minute delay. For a team that has been extremely conservative handling pitchers, keeping Kershaw in through two delays seemed out-of-character. Kershaw’s perfect game ended on a Justin Turner error in the fifth. The no hitter ended a batter later, as a single put two on with no outs. A bunt moved the runners into scoring position, but Kershaw got a pair of strikeouts to end the threat and end his outing.
Other than the five innings, this was a lot more Kershawesque. He allowed two baserunners and struck out five. Most of the contact against him was weak, and he looked a whole lot better than he did in his last start. He threw 64 pitches in the game and reportedly threw 16 pitches indoors during the rain delay. It was a promising outing and Kershaw looked as healthy as he’s looked in a few months. His next start (assuming there are no complications) will be against the Giants at Dodger Stadium
The Dodgers’ offensive struggles continued again today. Michael Pineda was highly inefficient for the Yankees, but he kept the Dodgers off the board.
The Dodgers’ best scoring chance came in the top of the fourth. With rain in the forecast, a lead in the fifth inning would have been huge. In the fourth, Adrian Gonzalez drew a one-out walk and Yasmani Grandal doubled to right. Josh Reddick lined out, but catchers’ interference was called and Reddick got first base. Andre Ethier came up with a chance to be captain clutch again, but grounded into a double play to end the threat.
Pineda did not remain in the game after the first rain delay. Pineda only allowed four runners in his four innings, but he still made 83 pitches. The Dodgers did a good job being patient, but didn’t have much to show for it.
The offense was completely shut down for the first eight innings, but the middle of the order got things going in the ninth. Corey Seager led off with a rocket to second and Starlin Castro couldn’t handle it cleanly. He stole second on a 2-2 slider to Justin Turner, who shot the next pitch down the left field line for a run scoring double.
Turner slid into Castro at second and looked shaken up. He remained in the game and tagged up on a fly ball to move to third. Dellin Betances got Yasmani Grandal to hit back to the box, but Betances threw the ball to the backstop and Turner scored to make it 2-0. Betances got out of the inning with no further damage, but the Dodgers finally broke through after 17 straight scoreless innings.
Grant Dayton was the first man up, and he struck out the side in the sixth. It seems like Dayton racks up strikeouts every time he enters a game, and if he can keep that up he’ll be a huge part of the future bullpen.
Pedro Baez for the seventh, because the game wasn’t going slowly enough. Baez got a couple outs, but allowed a single and a walk and was pulled in the seventh. With two on and two outs, Luis Avilan came in and escaped the inning.
Avilan remained in for the eighth and allowed a two-out walk, but struck out Jacoby Ellsbury to keep the game scoreless.
Kenley Jansen came in for the ninth. He allowed a single to Castro, but struck out the side to give the Dodgers the 2-0 win. His 44th save is a career high.
The San Diego Padres swept the San Francisco Giants with a 3-1 win today. This moves the Dodgers to five games up in the West and shrinks the magic number down to 13. To say this was a huge late win would be an understatement.
The Dodgers have a long flight to Arizona, where they’ll open up a four-game weekend set starting tomorrow. Rich Hill starts for LA, Archie Bradley for the Diamondbacks. The Giants will welcome the Cardinals to AT&T for a four game set.