If there was a blueprint for how to follow the worst start of one's career, Clayton Kershaw followed it to a tee today. Kershaw was brilliant for eight shutout innings, out-dueling the great Ubaldo Jimenez, giving the Dodgers a much-needed 2-0 win, and their eighth straight series win over the Rockies.
In the first inning, it didn't look like Kershaw would be much better than in his last start, when he gave up seven runs in 1 1/3 innings. Kershaw loaded the bases, on two walks and a bunt single by Troy Tulowitzki, but he got out of it by striking out Ian Stewart. After throwing 30 pitches in the first, Kershaw was untouchable.
Kershaw struck out nine batters today, but even when the Rockies hit the ball, they never hit it squarely. Their two hits were of the infield variety, and Kershaw induced six infield pop outs. The first Rockie to hit a ball to the outfield off Kershaw was Clint Barmes, who did so in the eighth inning.
Russell Martin's third home run of the season, in the eighth inning, provided insurance, and Jonathan Broxton closed it out in the ninth for his third save of the season.
Winners of all three series with the National League West this season, the Dodgers head to Arizona and San Diego for a short road trip to do some more divisional damage.
WP - Clayton Kershaw (2-2): 8 IP, 2 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
LP - Ubaldo Jimenez (6-1): 7 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts
Sv - Jonathan Broxton (3): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 strikeout