The Los Angeles Dodgers’ offense failed to find the key hit they needed as they fell to the San Francisco Giants despite a strong outing from Clayton Kershaw and the pitching staff.
Kershaw made his final start of the regular season in his continued Saturday starter role, and he was effective overall aside from a few blemishes.
The southpaw touched 90 mph for the first time since coming off the injured list and had 10 swinging strikes, his most in his previous eight starts.
Kershaw did allow a solo home run to Tyler Fitzgerald in the third inning to give the Giants a 1-0 lead, but that was the only run allowed in his first five innings. Kershaw went back out for the sixth inning for the first time since June 27, but he started the inning with back-to-back walks.
The 35-year-old then got Thairo Estrada to ground into a force out, putting runners at the corners with one away. Kershaw then forced Wilmer Flores to hit into a potential double play, but an error from Max Muncy allowed a run to score and finished the future Hall of Famer’s day.
In total, it was another encouraging outing for Kershaw, who ended with 5.1 innings pitched, five hits, two runs, two walks and five strikeouts. His next start will come for either Game 1 or Game 2 of the National League Division Series.
Following Kershaw, Grove came in and got out of the jam. He ended up pitching 1.2 innings with no runs allowed as he pushes for a spot on the postseason roster.
The Dodgers tied the game in the fifth inning when David Peralta doubled and Mookie Betts drove him in, but overall the night was a struggle for their offense. Although they had eight hits, they went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base.
Dodgers chasing milestones in final game
The Dodgers have one more game remaining on the 2023 schedule with the club and multiple players still looking for some statistical achievements. With one more win, the Dodgers would become the first team in MLB history to win 100+ games in four consecutive full seasons.
As for the players, Betts is looking to reach the 40 home run mark, while Muncy needs one more for 37, which would set his career-high in a single season.
Freddie Freeman also needs one double to become the first player with 60 in a season since 1936, and one more home run would give him 30 on the year. If he can achieve both totals, he would become the first player in MLB history with 30 home runs and 60 doubles in a season.
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