Los Angeles — The Dodgers won 7-2 over the Diamondbacks behind a great pitching performance from Clayton Kershaw and a solid all-around offensive attack. Kershaw pitched seven innings and struck out 12 while allowing two hits and one run. Kershaw did not issue a walk.
The win ended the Dodgers three-game losing streak and also their 11-game regular season losing streak to Arizona. The importance of ending these streaks was addressed by Kershaw after the game.
“The whole ‘don’t panic thing because its too early’ thing doesn’t work if you are using that in the back of your mind as an excuse,” Kershaw said, “ ‘it’s early, we’ll figure it out’ doesn’t really work cause then you got to figure it out at some point.”
“So for me, I don’t really like that saying, there’s need to be a sense of urgency every game out there” Kershaw said, “And [Roberts] is right, it is early, and a lot of time to make up games, we play a lot of games against these guys especially so. Standings maybe not so important but the way we play is important and we can’t have any excuses with that.”
Today’s start with Kershaw’s 59th game with 10 or more strikeouts and his 9th career start with 12 or more strikeouts and no walks.
“The slider was better today, I mixed some shapes with it,” Kershaw said, “I threw it to the arm side a little bit more today. You know you face a team, we are going to face the Diamondbacks like four times within the first two months, same thing with the Giants, you have to keep being unpredictable and mixing some things up, [Barnes] did a great job back there with that.”
Before the game manager Dave Roberts said, “when you have your best going and under the circumstances on how we’ve been playing, to have [Kershaw] going, it’s a game that we really expect to win and really want to win.”
The only run off Kershaw was a leadoff home run from Paul Goldschmidt in the seventh inning. That inning was also the only one where Kershaw did not record any strikeouts.
Zack Godley had entered the game with an ERA under 1 and the memory of already shutting down the Dodgers a few weeks ago in Phoenix. And after the first inning where he struck out two and recorded three outs on 7 pitches, it looked like he was on his game again.
But then Godley lost command; in his next 3+ innings, he walked six and fell behind consistently to Dodger hitters. Prior to that, he had walked just one batter in his first 15 innings pitched (including today’s first inning).
The Dodgers capitalized on the wildness, scoring a run in the second on an Kiké Hernández sacrifice fly and then three runs in the third, two on a line-drive single from Yasiel Puig.
Chris Taylor then got into the act with a solo home run in the fourth and then a two-out, two-run double in the fifth.
Things got a little tight in the ninth. Ross Stripling gave up two hits and a walk but then he was able to record the final three outs and Dodgers got their first 2018 win over the Diamondbacks.
Home runs: Taylor (3), Goldschmidt (4)
WP - Clayton Kershaw (1-2): 7 IP, 1 run, 2 hits, 12 strikeouts
LP - Zack Godley (2-1): 4 IP, 6 runs 5 hits, 6 walks, 4 strikeouts
The Dodgers head down to San Diego to start a three-game series tomorrow night. Hyun-jin Ryu is scheduled to start for the Dodgers, currently no one has been named for the Padres.
The game is scheduled to start at 7:10 p.m.