On the night the 104-win Dodgers were pushed to the brink of the wild card game, Dodger Stadium opened with a terrific national anthem using not the world’s smallest violin, but one of its oldest. In the 8-6 win over the Brewers, the Dodgers lost starter Clayton Kershaw to left forearm discomfort in the second inning.
Anne Akiko Meyers set the stage with an amazing rendition of the national anthem — a performance so beautiful that even her pregame warmup in the press box induced applause — using a 280-year-old violin.
The Dodgers’ string of National League West division titles isn’t quite that old, but it is close to being over after eight seasons. The Giants just keep pushing forward, their 3-0 victory over the Padres a seventh straight win and San Francisco’s 106th of the year, keeping them two games up on the Dodgers, but with two left to play.
If the Dodgers are going to win the NL West, it will have to be in San Francisco on Monday, following two more Dodgers wins and two Giants losses this weekend. A tall order.
Kershaw got the start on Friday, his fourth since returning from an over two-month stay on the injured list with elbow/forearm inflammation. But he allowed five hits to his 10 batters faced, allowing three runs while recording only five outs before walking off the field with trainer Neil Rampe in the second inning.
Kershaw will undergo more testing on Saturday to determine the severity of the injury, but his season is very likely over.
“He couldn’t continue pitching, so that’s pretty telling,” manager Dave Roberts said.
“I just wanted to be a part of this team going into October. This team is special,” he said. “It’s going to be a challenge to even contribute at all.”
An impromptu bullpen game for the Dodgers meant more runs for the Brewers, but the Dodgers were at least able to score for a change against their nemesis Eric Lauer.
Trea Turner tagged the Brewers left-hander for a pair of home runs, a solo shot in the first inning and a grand slam to tie things up in the fifth. Turner is the ninth different Dodger to hit a grand slam this season, and the 10 total slams ties the franchise record set in 2004.
Lauer left after allowing five runs in five innings, after allowing only 11 total runs in his first eight career starts against the Dodgers.
Matt Beaty’s pinch-hit home run off Jandel Gustave kicked off a three-run seventh inning that provided the winning margin for the Dodgers.
LA’s offense has scored eight or more runs in each of the last three games, their longest streak since August 11-14, 2019.
Home runs: Trea Turner 2 (27), Matt Beaty (6)
WP — Blake Treinen (6-5): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout
LP — Jandel Gustave (1-2): 1⅔ IP, 2 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk
Sv — Kenley Jansen (38): 1⅓ IP, 1 strikeout
Julio Urías makes his final start of the regular season on Saturday (6:10 p.m., SportsNet LA), trying to become the second Dodgers pitcher with 20 wins in a season in the last 30 years. Corbin Burnes starts for Milwaukee, trying to put the finishing touches on both his Cy Young Award case and an ERA title over Max Scherzer.