LOS ANGELES -- With two of the best pitchers on the planet on the mound, Tuesday night was pretty much as expected, a 2-1 game between the Dodgers and Giants at Dodger Stadium. But the home team, and Clayton Kershaw, came up on the wrong end.
"The bottom line is I just got out-pitched. Madison pitched better than I did and they won the game," Kershaw said. "Not a whole lot of analyzation going on, I just got out-pitched. You tip your cap."
Madison Bumgarner was outstanding, lasting eight innings, allowing only one run on five hits and a walk, with nine strikeouts. In his career at Dodger Stadium, Bumgarner is 8-3 with a miniscule 2.08 ERA in 12 games, including 11 starts.
Kershaw certainly didn't pitch badly at all. He probably pitched his best game of the season, with two runs allowed over seven innings with eight strikeouts and no walks. The ERA is a very un-Kershaw-like 3.73, but the peripherals are still strong — a 33.3-percent strikeout rate, a 5.4-percent walk rate to go along with a 2.65 FIP and 1.55 xFIP — so there are still encouraging signs.
"I had a little bit better command of everything. My slider is getting a little bit better. It's not where I want it, but it's getting better," Kershaw said. "I have a better feel for the inside corner. There's some good and some bad, but it's getting a little bit better."
The loss dropped Kershaw to 1-2 on the season, and the Dodgers to 2-3 in his five starts. The Dodgers have averaged 3.2 runs per game when Kershaw starts, and 5.1 runs per game for everybody else.
The Dodgers in 2015 were 23-4 when Kershaw started, averaging 5.04 runs per game.
"He's getting better and better as the season is going on. There are some years when you get runs and some when you don't," manager Don Mattingly said. "He did his job."
Zack Greinke gets the call in the rubber game for the Dodgers on Wednesday night, with Ryan Vogelsong starting for the Giants.