Clayton Kershaw did his job on Tuesday night, but he had no support from the Dodgers' offense. Ian Kennedy shut down the Dodgers for the second time in two weeks, leading the Diamondbacks to a 1-0 win over the Dodgers.
Kennedy struck out six in his 7 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits. It was the second straight start for Kennedy versus the Dodgers with no runs allowed, as he also won at Dodger Stadium on August 30, also against Kershaw.
For someone with a bum hip, Kershaw sure looked pretty good on the mound. He allowed three hits and three walks in his seven innings, and struck out five. The only tally against him was an unearned run in a mistake-filled seventh inning.
Paul Goldschmidt grounded a ball to shortstop to open the seventh, but after backing up to wait on the hop Hanley Ramirez bounced a throw that first baseman Adrian Gonzalez couldn't scoop, giving Arizona a leadoff baserunner. One out later Miguel Montero doubled into the right center field gap and Goldschmidt used a fantastic jump to score easily from first base for a 1-0 lead.
The inning could have been worse, as a passed ball by A.J. Ellis allowed Montero to move to third base with just one out. Ellis has 11 passed balls this season, third most in the majors. The Diamondbacks tried to cash in the second mistake of the inning as Chris Johnson filed out to center field, but Matt Kemp unleashed a strong throw on the fly to Ellis at home to retire Montero to end the inning and limit the damage.
The assist was the sixth of the season for Kemp.
The Dodgers got a hint of a rally in the fifth inning, as Andre Ethier doubled with two outs. Luis Cruz, who singled in the third inning for the first Dodger hit, drove a ball to the left field wall but Jason Kubel reached over the wall to rob Cruz and keep the game scoreless.
Kemp, back in the lineup for the first time since Friday, struck out in his first two at-bats but hit a two-out double in the seventh to give the Dodgers another pseudo-rally. But then Ramirez followed with an emulation of Willie Mays Hayes' first major league at-bat, only Ramirez didn't reach base on the excuse-me tapper.
The Dodgers got yet another double in the ninth inning, this time from Shane Victorino with two outs, but Gonzalez struck out looking to end the game.
Kershaw Joins Select Company
By lasting seven innings on Tuesday, Kershaw has 206 2/3 innings pitched on the season, his third consecutive season of at least 200 innings pitched. Kershaw is the 12th Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher with three straight seasons of 200 innings or more, and the first since Orel Hershiser threw 200 innings for five straight years from 1985-89.
|LA Dodgers With 3 Straight 200-Inning Seasons|
Kershaw needs 27 more innings in his final four starts this season to surpass his career high of 233 1/3 innings, set last season.
- Kershaw on Tuesday has his fifth game of the season with at least seven innings allowing one run or less with no win, tied with Felix Hernandez of the Mariners for the most in baseball. David Price of the Rays is third, with four such games.
- Paco Rodriguez faced one batter Tuesday night, and struck out Kubel on three pitches to end the eighth inning. Rodriguez has retired both major league batters he has faced so far in his career, and all six of his major league pitches have been strikes.
- Dee Gordon made his first appearance since July 4 on Tuesday, as he pinch ran for Cruz in the eighth inning. However, Gordon didn't steal any bases, and was erased on a double play.
- The Dodgers failed to score in the first inning Tuesday, their 14th consecutive game without a run in the first. The last time the Dodgers scored in the first inning was August 26, but despite being outscored 14-0 in the first inning in their last 14 games the Dodgers still have scored more runs (82) than their opponents (78) in the opening frame this season.
- Kershaw picked Goldschmidt off first base in the second inning, the major league best ninth pickoff of the season for Kershaw. Last season Kershaw led the National League with nine pickoffs, with only James Shields having more, with 12.
- Scott Elbert threw a bullpen session Tuesday, his first since getting placed on the disabled list on August 29, and Ted Lilly threw a simulated game Tuesday, but neither southpaw is particularly close to returning to the Dodgers, reported Tyler Emerick of MLB.com. "Not quite sure where that takes us," manager Don Mattingly said. "Moving forward, it's getting to the end of the month."
- The Dodgers called up three players from Triple A Albuquerque before Tuesday's game, but outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. was not one of them. Gwynn not being on the 40-man roster complicates matters. "I don't think we're going to see T this year. It's a roster issue," Mattingly told reporters, per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
- In case you missed it late yesterday, I wrote an article for The Sports Xchange about how the midseason deals haven't yet panned out for the Dodgers this season.
Home Runs: none
WP - Ian Kennedy (13-11): 7 1/3 IP, 4 hits, 6 strikeouts
LP - Clayton Kershaw (12-9): 7 IP, 3 hits, 1 unearned run, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts
Sv - David Hernandez (3): 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts