While the Los Angeles Dodgers came away with a series win by taking the rubber match from the New York Mets, it wasn’t without a few bumps along the way. For the first time this season Clayton Kershaw was removed mid-inning.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts‘ decision to lift his ace at 114 pitches with two outs in the eighth inning immediately backfired as Adam Liberatore gave up an RBI triple to Curtis Granderson that tied the game at 2-2.
The Dodgers managed to load the bases in the ninth on Mets closer Jeurys Familia, with Adrian Gonzalez knocking a two-run single into center field that proved to be the difference.
Kershaw didn’t earn the win, but increased to his strikeout-to-walk ratio to an astounding 22-to-1 with 10 punchouts and zero walks on the night. He became the first pitcher since 1900 to reach 100 strikeouts in a single season with fewer than seven walks.
Kershaw’s night also included a brief scare and freak accident as he struck himself with the barrel of the bat on the follow-through of his swing in the sixth inning:
Kershaw didn’t run out of the box on his grounder to shortstop, and discussed the unusual sequence after the win, via ESPN’s Doug Padilla:
“It just scared me,” Kershaw said. “I got hit there, but it didn’t really hurt. It just scared me. I’ve never really done that before so it was kind of shocking. I wanted to make sure I didn’t have any stab wounds. I think I was just stunned.”
The bottom half of the inning saw Kershaw give up a two-out solo home run to Asdrubal Cabrera. The homer was the first Kershaw allowed since April 26.