Throughout the course of his career, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has dominated the division-rival San Francisco Giants, and that was again the case on Monday night when he dueled with Madison Bumgarner for the 11th time.
Kershaw completed eight innings for the first time in almost a year, allowing just four hits and one run while striking out nine without issuing a walk. The one run allowed matched what Kershaw produced at the plate with an RBI double.
After the loss, Kershaw discussed his outing and how he was pleased being able to miss bats and get deep into the game, via SportsNet LA:
“Just mixing it up a little bit, Barnes did a great job back there. I threw, obviously, a lot of sliders tonight but I think that’s been pretty routine for me so nothing specific other than getting a few more swings and misses than the last start and they hit some balls right at some guys which is what you need when you want to go deep in a game so I’ll take it.”
After getting Hunter Pence to hit a little nubber back to the mound to get out of the eighth inning with the Dodgers leading 2-1, Kershaw showed a more emotion than he normally does as he walked back to the dugout. He explained why he was so emotional:
“I think it’s just the situation that we’re in. I think we had a rough series in Colorado, obviously. So just getting that last out of the eighth there felt good. I just let it out a little bit. Up until then, you’re feeling really good about it, it was a tough night obviously.”
Unfortunately for Kershaw and the Dodgers, the bullpen was not able to hold onto that lead as Scott Alexander gave up four runs in the ninth inning and the Giants came away with a 5-2 comeback victory.
The Dodgers have now lost four straight games, with the bullpen faltering in all four of them without closer Kenley Jansen. So if the Dodgers want to make the playoffs then something will need to change.
Although, it won’t need to be the production of Kershaw, who has looked like his usual dominant self since coming off the disabled list in June.