The good news from Saturday night is that Clayton Kershaw is now the major league leader in strikeouts with 138. The bad news is that the number two man in the majors in ERA, Jered Weaver, outpitched Kershaw, and the Angels cruised to a 7-1 victory to even up the weekend series in Anaheim.
One night after dazzling on the bases and in the field, Dee Gordon had a third inning to forget on Saturday. He reached base via force play in the top of the inning, but was then picked off by Weaver. Unlike Ted Lilly's pickoffs, the runner in this case was out, and with room to spare. Then, in the bottom of the inning, with one out and Jeff Mathis on third base, Gordon fielded a ground ball by Erick Aybar and threw home. A perfect throw may have nabbed Mathis at the plate, but Gordon's throw was anything but perfect, a high throw that got away from Dioner Navarro, allowing Aybar to reach second base.
Aybar later scored on a home run by Vernon Wells, who has four home runs in his last seven games. But that wasn't the end of Kershaw's troubles, as the southpaw gave up three more runs in the fourth inning, thanks to a cacophony of near outs and bloop hits. Kershaw allowed an unearned run in the sixth inning, thanks in part to another throwing error on Gordon, this time on a throw to first base for what would have been the third out of the inning.
As for Gordon's immediate future, manager Don Mattingly said there won't be a corresponding roster move until Sunday morning.
Kershaw did have quite the bizarre game tonight, as he allowed seven runs (six earned) in his six innings of work, but he also had just one walk and 10 strikeouts (only the 10th MLB pitcher since 2000 with at least seven runs allowed and double-digit strikeouts). "To me, [Kershaw] pitched good again. It's not like those balls were crushed in the gap where he's just getting beat up around the yard," said Mattingly, perhaps channeling his inner FIP awareness. "It's just a matter of those balls dropping that might otherwise be catchable."
It was the third straight game of 10 or more strikeouts for Kershaw, which made him just the fourth Los Angeles Dodger to have three straight games with double digit strikeouts. The last such streak was by Hideo Nomo, who had four straight games in 1995. You might notice a left-hander on this list with great frequency.
|Most Consecutive Starts With 10+ K, LA Dodgers|
After the game, Kershaw was asked if he would wake up Sunday morning to watch the All-Star selection show. "What time is it?" Kershaw asked. Then, roughly one millisecond after reporters informed Kershaw the show started at 9 a.m. (on TBS), Kershaw smiled and said, "No chance."
Koufax set a then-major league (now National League) record with 382 punchouts in that 1965, which shows up four times in the list above.
Chad Billingsley faces off with in the rubber game of the series on Sunday night on ESPN.
WP - Jered Weaver (10-4): 8 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
LP - Clayton Kershaw (8-4): 6 IP, 9 hits, 7 runs (6 earned), 1 walk, 10 strikeouts