The Los Angeles Dodgers had the table turned on them Saturday night as the Atlanta Braves used a big third inning to get a win and set up a rubber match in their weekend series. Clayton Kershaw got through six innings but allowed five earned runs in a consecutive start.
Making the outing all the more peculiar was the Braves rallied for their five runs with two outs. “I just couldn’t stop the bleeding,” Kershaw said after the Dodgers’ 6-4 loss at Truist Park.
“Two outs, shouldn’t give up any runs when you get to two outs. That (Ronald) Acuña walk was not good. Freddie does what Freddie does, hit a decent pitch, just put the bat on it and got a hit. From there just couldn’t stop the bleeding. Tough inning. Not what you want to do. Frustrating for me.
“Battled as best I could and got through six, which I guess was somewhat of a positive. Just a frustrating inning.”
Although the Braves took their decided lead on a string of four straight hits, Kershaw continued to lament walking Ronald Acuña Jr. “I’m not as mad about the Freddie one as I am about the Acuña walk,” he said. “You can’t do that. Overall, the Acuña walk was probably the most frustrating part of that inning.
“I was pitching him as tough as I could. He’s a great hitter, obviously. With two outs, you don’t want to walk him to get to Freddie no matter what. That’s not what I was looking for.”
The five earned runs with two outs tied a career high for Kershaw. He’s allowed that many in three of five starts and taken back-to-back losses during that span. “Just not pitching well,” Kershaw said.
Roberts critiques Kershaw
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts downplayed longterm concern with Kershaw, but noted his command went wayward in the fateful third inning.
“I thought a few times he tried to go with the fastball to arm side and just couldn’t stick it. He was losing it wide left,” Roberts said. “That Acuña at-bat, I thought had a chance to put him away, but you’ve got to tip your hat to Acuña. He got back in the at-bat and earned a walk.
“A couple hits after that and the inning kind of spun out. I think you’ve got to give Clayton credit for going six innings and keeping those guys at bay. It was one bad inning, but the line score as far as nine punch, one walk, we had a chance to win the baseball game. I give Clayton a lot of credit for going deeper in that game
“The one thing I do see is him kind of resetting and throwing up zeros after the fact. It is uncharacteristic in that an inning he doesn’t feel right, he still can limit damage to one, two, three runs. But the last couple have been big numbers, so it’s just one of those things that he loses command of some pitches and those other guys are capitalizing on that one big inning.
“He’s going to reset and be ready to put up more zeros his next start.”
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and more!