The Los Angeles Dodgers salvaged the three-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, coming out victorious by a final score of 7-2. What’s more, the club snapped an 11-game regular-season losing streak against their divisional foe in the process.
Clayton Kershaw was brilliant in what was his fourth start of the season. He earned his first victory after allowing one run over seven innings, while yielding just two hits and accumulating 12 strikeouts to boot.
On the offensive side, Los Angeles pushed six runs across the plate against Arizona starter Zach Godley, who entered the game with the lowest ERA in all of baseball.
“Very, very impressive collectively by our offensive group,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “When we’re at our best, that’s what we’re doing. We took some borderline pitches, got a lot of calls, kept the line moving and stressed Godley.
“He came into the game as one of the best starters in the National League. Guy who throws strikes, can strike his breaking ball, but we were relentless today taking balls. As a byproduct we scored some runs.”
Part of the Dodgers’ success against Godley was their ability to work the count. He was subsequently removed from his outing after throwing 93 pitches in four-plus innings.
“It’s critical,” Roberts said of working the count. “Especially when you run into good pitching, where you have to be able to trust you can run a count. When you get impatient and swing at their pitches, it leads to quick outs and a low pitch count.
“We challenged Zack to go deep into counts and for him to continue to make pitches. Fortunately for us, we won more than we lost.”
Kershaw echoed those sentiments and praised the club for drawing six walks against Godley, which not only created traffic on the base paths, but contributed to his shortened outing as well. “We start walking, that’s a big calling card of our offense,” Kershaw said.
“It was great to see that. That’s what we did all last year. The starter had to grind through the whole lineup. Very rarely did you see a guy going deep into a game with a low pitch count. Guys were just constantly grinding at-bats.”
The Dodgers finally provided Kershaw with some much needed run support. Having tallied three combined runs over his first three runs starts of the season, the club surpassed that with seven runs alone on Sunday.
“It doesn’t really change the way you pitch,” Kershaw admitted. “The result at the end of the day is we have a win for the team, which is huge. Run support comes and goes at time.
“I’ve been fortunate on this team, we seem to always have runs on the board and gotten a lot of wins over my career because of that. I’m not worried about run support or anything like that. My job is to not give up any.”