We are back to a few single start days for Clayton Kershaw, with his lone April 22 outing coming in 2015. This was the middle game of a midweek series against the rival Giants in San Francisco.
Kershaw allowed only three singles and a walk in this game — it was AT&T Park, after all, where his career ERA after this game was 0.97 in 13 games — but three of his four baserunners were bunched together in the third inning, allowing the Giants to score two runs.
He struck out nine in his innings, throwing 93 pitches, but Kershaw’s day was done thanks an anemic offense against Madison Bumgarner, who held them scoreless through six. With a runner on base and one out in the seventh, Kershaw’s spot in the order came up.
From my game recap:
After a one-out single by A.J. Ellis in the seventh, down 2-0 Mattingly had to pinch hit for Kershaw, ending a streak of 12 straight starts against the Giants pitching at least seven innings. The decision paid off in spades, however, because Alex Guerrero remains red hot.
Guerrero took a rising fastball from Bumgarner and made sure it kept rising, into the left field seats for a game-tying two-run home run. It was the third home run and fifth extra-base hit of the year for Guerrero, in just 17 plate appearances.
The tying home run was good enough, one might imagine Guerrero talking the ear off his grandchildren recounting the moment.
Kershaw’s two runs allowed was his fewest in four games to open 2015, a relatively sluggish start to his season. This was the 213th start of his career. and with his first out recorded in the fourth inning reached 1,400 innings.
The outing: 6 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts
Up next: Back to 2013, against the Mets