(Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
This was supposed to be how the 2011 season would go. Starting pitching would dominate, Dodgers would score a few runs, Kuo would dominate, but it was not until the 89th game of the season that it all came together.
The defining moment in the game came in the top of the eighth with the Dodgers leading 6 - 0. Kershaw had been masterful up until that inning, giving up only three hits along with eight strike outs. By the time Don Mattingly came to the mound the five game losing streak was back on the line, the bases were loaded and the Mets clean up hitter was up. Surprisingly Don Mattingly let Clayton Kershaw stay in, and Clayton rewarded his faith by striking out Paulino for his 9th strikeout.
One inning later the bases were loaded again in the 9th for the Mets when Mattingly brought in Kuo to preserve the win and hopefully the shut out. Kuo has had zero memorable moments in 2011 but he now has one as he reared back and fanned Duda Day, then got Pagan to ground out for the final out of the game.
The Dodgers scored their first run in their typical way, by making an out. However in the sixth it was anything but typical. Four extra base hits, a double by Kemp, double by Uribe, double by Miles, and get this a triple by Navarro pushed five runs across the plate. :
Clayton Kershaw became the first Dodger pitcher with nine or more strikeouts in four consecutive starts since Hideo Nomo accomplished the feat from June 25-July 13, 1996. Kershaw improved to 9-4 and has won seven of his last eight decisions.