LOS ANGELES - JULY 25: Pitcher Clayton Kershw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch against the New York Mets on July 25 2010 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Much like Chad Billingsley earlier in the week, Clayton Kershaw came through for the Dodgers when the absolutely had to have their starter pitch deep into the game, leading the Dodgers to a 1-0 victory over the Mets. Kershaw pitched eight scoreless innings, and would have pitched the ninth had his spot in the batting order not come up in the eighth inning.
Manager Joe Torre was impressed, saying Kershaw "has learned how to pitch, as opposed to trying to overpower people." This was the third time Clayton Kershaw has pitched eight scoreless innings in a game. He also turned the trick July 29, 2009 in St. Louis, and May 29, 2010 against Colorado.
Russell Martin delivered an RBI double in the eighth inning, for the only run of the game, giving the Dodgers the win and their third shutout in five games.
The Dodgers were operating today with a very short bullpen. Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, and Jeff Weaver were all unavailable, leaving closing duties to Kenley Jansen, who was pitching just his second major league game. Joe Torre said he normally wouldn't put such an inexperienced pitcher in that kind of situation, but after watching him pitch Saturday against the heart of the Mets order, Torre had no hesitation to give him the ball in the ninth inning today. Torre said Jansen has been on the club's radar screen since the end of May, and that they didn't call him up just to occupy a spot in the bullpen. Jansen is here because he can get batters out in late innings, and that's how Torre intends to use him.
Jansen became the eighth Los Angeles Dodger to get a save in one of his first two career games:
|LA Dodger Saves In 1st 2 Games|
|Charlie Hough||8/12 & 8/14/70||1-2|
The Dodgers are off tomorrow, but open up a series in San Diego with Chad Billingsley facing Jon Garland.
WP - Clayton Kershaw (10-5): 8 IP, 7 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
LP - Pedro Feliciano (2-5): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Sv - Kenley Jansen (1): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts