We follow up probably the worst date of Clayton Kershaw’s career — with three losses in three games — with a much stronger performance in his two career games on April 27.
The first of these was in 2012, at home against the Nationals. Kershaw allowed only a couple hits in his first five innings, but also saw three Nats reach base via error, but he stranded them all. The only damage was a two-run shot by Adam LaRoche in the sixth, and Kershaw responded by retiring his final nine batters in a 3-2 win.
From my game recap:
Kershaw was able to last through eight innings for his second win of the season. The win was also his 12th straight home win, tying him with Ed Roebuck (June 1960 - August 1962) and Orel Hershiser (September 1984 - October 1985) for the longest home winning streak since the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles.
During his home win streak, which spans 16 starts, Kershaw is 12-0 with a 1.53 ERA.
This game was the start of a weekend series at Dodger Stadium, with Bryce Harper newly arrived in Los Angeles, one day before making his major league debut.
Kershaw made his 121st start in that 2012 game against the Nationals, then seven years later came start No. 319, also at home but this was against the Pirates.
Kershaw allowed only a run on four hits in his seven innings, but after his last pitch he was trailing 1-0. The Dodgers quickly rectified that with three runs in the bottom of the seventh, but a single and two walks loaded the bases with nobody out against reliever Caleb Ferguson in the eighth. Enter Pedro Báez, from Elizabeth Islas’ game recap:
Things got tense in the top half of the eighth inning, when the bases were full with Pirates with no outs, putting the Dodgers’ 3-1 lead at risk. Pedro Báez came in to relieve Caleb Ferguson from the situation. And he wouldn’t disappoint. Báez got out of the inning completely untouched and preserved the game’s score.
The Dodgers’, and Kershaw’s, win was preserved, and Kershaw ended his brief April with a 2.25 ERA in three starts.
Two wins in two starts for Kershaw on April 27, with three runs allowed in 15 innings, a 1.80 ERA.
2012 (W, 2-0): 8 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
2019 (W, 1-0): 7 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 8 strikeouts
Up next: Two more Kershaw starts on April 28