The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets combined to hit eight home runs in Monday’s series opener at Dodger Stadium. To a certain extent it was more of the same for the Dodgers.
Cody Bellinger slugged a pair of home runs, and Chris Taylor and Justin Turner also went deep. But on the other hand, it was unchartered territory. Particularly for Clayton Kershaw. He was spotted a 4-0 lead after the first inning, and 7-0 cushion through two innings.
Kershaw to that point hadn’t allowed a hit or baserunner. That changed when Jose Reyes lined the first pitch he saw for a solo home run to lead off the third inning.
Jay Bruce homered in the fourth, Gavin Cecchini hit his first career home run in the fifth inning, and Reyes took Kershaw deep a second time in the seventh. That trimmed the Dodgers’ lead to 8-6.
It also marked the first time in Kershaw’s career he allowed four home runs in a start. That previously was three home runs surrendered in a single game, which he’s endured twice this season; three times if including Monday’s start.
“It’s tough to analyze when you give up six runs,” Kershaw said of his outing. “It’s not a great feeling, but at the same time that’s why you play on a good team, I guess.
“There’s two ways to go: you can try to rethink everything with a start like this, or just say, ‘Screw it,’ and come back tomorrow and act like it didn’t happen. I’m going to go with the latter, I think.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts felt the results were not reflective of how well Kershaw pitched. “It’s ironic. His stuff, for me, was the best it’s been over his last three starts,” Roberts said.
“You look at the body of work, 112 pitches, he made four mistakes and they went out of the ballpark. I thought the stuff was good.”
Kershaw has now allowed 17 home runs, his most in a season since opponents slugged 16 homers across 33 starts in 2012. “You hope mistakes are hit for singles or doubles or whatever,” he said.
“It just so happens mine are going out of the ballpark right now. I just have to stop making mistakes, I guess.”