Clayton Kershaw had one of the worst starts of his career on Saturday as the Dodgers were embarrassed in the middle game of their series by the Diamondbacks, 18-7 at Chase Field.
After dropping eight of nine games to the Dodgers, the Diamondbacks unloaded all of their aggression on Saturday, tired of getting bullied around. Unfortunately, Kershaw played the role of Farkus in Saturday's remake of A Christmas Story:
Kershaw allowed seven runs on six hits and two walks while recording just five outs. Arizona scored all of their seven runs against Kershaw in the second inning, an inning that saw them hit three triples and a double. Kershaw even balked for good measure.
Clayton Kershaw is 3rd reigning Cy Young winner in MLB history to allow 7 or more ER while recording 5 or fewer outs (Clemens, Saberhagen).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 18, 2014
The three triples in a single inning set a franchise record for the Diamondbacks, and also marked the first time Kershaw has ever allowed more than one triple in a game. In fact, Kershaw has allowed three triples in a season just three times, with a high of four in 2010.
The Dodgers as a team allowed three triples in a game just twice in the last 33 years before Saturday, and both of those games were in the rarefied air in Denver.
Amazingly the 1⅔ innings wasn't the shortest start of Kershaw's career. On May 4, 2010 at home against the Brewers, Kershaw allowed seven runs, again all in the second inning, while recording just four outs. It did spawn one of the most memorable tweets ever:
kershaw may be regressing faster than billingsley. not sure. close competition. #howcanbradpennybebetterthanboth?— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) May 5, 2010
Kershaw has lost five straight starts at Chase Field, dating back to 2011.
The Dodgers got on the board in the third inning with a two-run home run by the red-hot Yasiel Puig, extending his hitting streak to 16 games.
Carl Crawford added a three-run shot in the sixth inning to chase Diamondbacks starter Chase Anderson, and a few batters later Andre Ethier doubled home two more to pull within 9-7. Amazingly, once down 7-0, the Dodgers brought the trying run to the plate in the sixth inning. But Dee Gordon flew out and Puig grounded out to end the threat.
Down 10-7, the Dodgers put two runners on to open the seventh, but Matt Kemp flew out, then Crawford and Juan Uribe struck out to end the frame.
But any thoughts of a Dodgers comeback ended in the bottom of the seventh, when the Diamondbacks put two runners on with two outs for Paul Goldschmidt, who cleared the bases with a three-run home run for a 13-7 Arizona advantage. It was only a matter of time for Goldschmidt, who was hitting just .211 (8-for-38) with two doubles in nine games against the Dodgers coming into Saturday, but in this game was 4-for-5 with two home runs, two doubles, five runs scored, six runs driven in, and a walk.
Before Goldschmidt, the last player to have four extra-base hits in a game against the Dodgers was Andy LaRoche for the Pirates in 2009.
Things got so bad that Drew Butera was called in to pitch for the second time in four days. He pitched in the bottom of the eighth, allowed a double and a home run, and recorded two outs.
Arizona hit five doubles, three triples, and five home runs. The 13 extra-base hits match the most allowed by the Dodgers in a game (dating back to 1914). The last such game was July 31, 1954 against Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews and the Braves.
Saturday was the first loss of the year for the Dodgers in which they scored seven runs. Since the beginning of 2012 when scoring at least seven runs the Dodgers record is 65-2 (.970).
The 18 runs are the most allowed by the Dodgers to the Diamondbacks, three more than the 15 runs allowed on May 8, 2000.
Joe Thatcher, who retired Kemp and Crawford in the seventh inning, has gone 35 straight appearances against the Dodgers without allowing a run, with 21 strikeouts and four walks in 20⅔ innings during that span. The Dodgers last scored on the left-hander on June 10, 2008, when he was with San Diego. During his streak against the Dodgers, Thatcher has allowed only five of 34 (14.7%) inherited runners to score, including stranding one tonight.
Kemp, a career .334/.396/.555 hitter against left-handed pitchers, is just 8-for-46 (.174) with three doubles and a walk against southpaws this season.
Brandon League pitched a scoreless fifth inning, his sixth straight game without allowing a run and his 12th straight appearance without giving up an earned run.
Home runs: Yasiel Puig (9), Carl Crawford (3); Chris Owings (2), Paul Goldschmidt 2 (9), A.J. Pollock (5), Eric Chavez (2)
WP - Chase Anderson (2-0): 5⅓ IP, 7 hits, 5 runs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
LP - Clayton Kershaw (2-1): 1⅔, 6 hits, 7 runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts