The Dodgers played their best game of the season today, as Clayton Kershaw was magnificent in his second career shutout, and the offense unloaded on Ricky Nolasco, giving the Dodgers a 8-0 win over Florida and their first home series win since April 18-21. While it would have been nice to have this Kershaw performance in a game in which the Dodgers scored one or two runs, a win is a win and today was a great one.
Kershaw didn't allow many hard hit balls, and only gave up two hits. One was a fly ball single to left in the third inning by Omar Infante, and the other was a pop fly by Logan Morrison in the seventh that went through the Jay Gibbons Experience™, which is to say Gibbons turned the wrong way then watched the ball drop for a "double." Kershaw also walked one and struck out 10 batters, the 10th time he has achieved double-digit strikeouts in his career.
Those were the only two hits allowed by Kershaw, who picked up two hits himself at the plate, and was aggressive all day on the basepaths. Not only did Kershaw execute the run part of a hit-and-run play in the fifth inning, but also beat out a potential inning-ending double play ball in the fifth and then advanced to third on a single to center field.
Last night it appeared to be an advantage for the Dodgers facing a bullpen game from the Marlins, but five Florida relievers shut the Dodgers down. The advantage, however, manifested one day later, as Nolasco was forced to take one for the team. The Dodgers jumped on the right-hander for four runs in the third inning, highlighted by a two-run home run by Rafael Furcal. That alone would have qualified as an outburst by the Dodgers, who are 18-6 when they score at least four runs this season.
However, the Dodgers weren't done, and Nolasco stayed in the game to give his bullpen a breather. Nolasco gave up four more runs in the fifth inning, and for the game allowed eight runs on 15 hits in five innings. That is tied for the most hits allowed to the Dodgers by a single pitcher since they moved to Los Angeles:
|Most Hits Allowed to LA Dodgers By Single Pitcher|
|Billy O'Dell||San Francisco||4/16/62||15|
- The 17 hits today are a season high for the Dodgers
- Furcal followed up his two-hit performance last night with three more hits today, including his first home run since last July 30, a span of 155 PA without a home run
- Andre Ethier reached base in all five plate appearances, with two singles, a double, and a walk.
- Jay Gibbons added three hits of his own
Dioner Navarro has two hits, including a double
Jerry Sands was the only starter not to reach base, as he took the collar at 0-for-5
- Marcus Thames homered in his first rehab game with Albuquerque in Triple A, against New Orleans.
Chad Billingsley and Jason Hammel open up a three-game series with Colorado Monday night
WP - Clayton Kershaw (6-3): 9 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts
LP - Ricky Nolasco (4-1): 5 IP, 15 hits, 8 runs, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts