Clayton Kershaw’s two career starts on June 7 were remarkably similar, and relatively recent. Both were low-scoring affairs that saw Kershaw last seven innings, with the Dodgers splitting the two games.
The first of these games was a fantastic pitchers duel between Kershaw and Stephen Strasburg at Dodger Stadium in 2017, a rare midweek day game at home for the Dodgers.
Strasburg only allowed three hits, though two of them came in a fortuitous three-batter stretch in the sixth inning. Corey Seager tied the game with a solo home run, then Adrian Gonzalez reached base on a passed ball strikeout. Gonzalez advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch, then scored the go-ahead run on a double by Yasmani Grandal.
From my game recap:
Kershaw batted in the seventh inning and struck out to end the inning, but even though he only threw 95 pitches did not remain in the game to pitch the eighth inning. Understandably, Kershaw didn’t seem pleased with the decision in the dugout, and that simmer turned to a boil when speedster Trea Turner led off the inning with a triple against Pedro Baez.
Baez somehow escaped the jam, preserving the win.
Last season, Kershaw and the Dodgers were on the road in San Francisco on June 7, against Drew Pomeranz and the Giants. This one was scoreless until the sixth inning, when the Giants scratched across two runs against Kershaw thanks to two singles, a walk, and a wild pitch.
The Dodgers’ lone run came off the bat of Chris Taylor, who homered against old friend Tony Watson in the eighth inning. But that was all they got, the Dodgers’ first loss of 2019 with Kershaw on the mound. From Elizabeth Islas’ game recap:
The Dodgers won their previous 17 regular season games in which Kershaw was the starting pitcher. This streak ended with the loss on Friday.
2017 (W, 8-2): 7 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
2019 (L, 5-1): 7 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
Up next: Back to a single-start day, shortened by rain