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Kershaw, Dodgers Fall Short

Judging from their performances tonight, you'd think Clayton Kershaw was the pitcher starting on three days rest and Kevin Correia was the one with five days off.  Correia pitched excellently on three days rest, giving up one run and only three hits in six innings, as the Padres beat the Dodgers 3-1, to close out the Dodgers' nine-game homestand.

Clayton Kershaw couldn't find the strike zone from the start, and couldn't finish three innings.  Leaving after throwing a whopping 84 pitches in 2.2 innings, Kershaw had the worst home start of his career:

Date Opponent Dec IP H ER BB K GmScr
San Diego     
L 2.2 5 3 4 2 34
9/7/08 Arizona -- 4.0 6 3 1 4 41
6/26/08 Colorado L 4.0 6 2 4 3 41
6/20/08 Cleveland -- 5.0 4 4 3 5 45

The Dodger offense was also nearly nonexistant tonight, managing only five hits and a run off a beleaguered Padre pitching staff.  The key play of the night was in the bottom of the seventh.  With Matt Kemp batting with one out, a full count, and Russell Martin and Casey Blake on first and second base, respectively, Joe Torre called for a double steal (or perhaps even a run & hit play).  Kemp struck out and, not surprisingly, Casey Blake was unable to inch closer to Rickey Henderson's stolen base record.

If there was one bright spot tonight, it was the magnificence of the Dodger bullpen.  Jeff Weaver entered the game with the bases loaded, two outs, and a 2-0 count on pitcher Kevin Correia.  He threw three straight strikes to end the inning, and the bulpen kept the Dodgers in the game all night.  Weaver, Cory Wade, Ronald Belisario, and Ramon Troncoso combined to give up only one hit and one walk in 6.1 relief innings.  The Dodger bullpen has a 3.40 ERA, sixth best in MLB.

The Dodgers have tomorrow off, letting fans concentrate on the exciting conference call that is the final 20 rounds on the MLB draft.  A three game series in Texas starts Friday, as Hiroki Kuroda squares off against Derek Holland of the Rangers.

WP - Kevin Correia (3-4):  6 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 4 strikeouts

LP - Clayton Kershaw (3-5):  2.2 IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 4 walks, 2 strikeouts

Sv - Heath Bell (18):  1 IP, 1 hit

Box Score