Behind a bounce-back outing from Clayton Kershaw, and another extremely encouraging offensive performance facing veteran left-hander Wade Miley, the Dodgers took care of business in this rubber match, beating the Brewers 8-1 on Wednesday afternoon in Milwaukee.
The Dodgers finished this road trip in a very strong fashion, securing another series victory, in the same manner as they did against the Padres, winning the last two games after dropping the opener.
Kershaw took those five walks last week personally
Seeing Kershaw allow even multiple base runners via bases on balls is weird to say the least, but seeing Kershaw walk five hitters in a game is just unfathomable, and yet it happened last week against the Friars.
Coming off that start, and knowing the bullpen could surely use a breather, having needed to cover eight innings on Tuesday after Noah Syndergaard left the game with a cut on his right finger, there was never any doubt Kershaw would deliver an elite performance?
The three-time Cy Young winner didn’t quite have the slider locked in at the start, but with a fastball that ticked up to 93 on multiple occasions, Kershaw worked his way through the Brew Crew early on, before finding that slider, which still generated 11 whiffs on 27 swings.
Kershaw was efficient enough to toss seven innings, allowing only a run on a Willson Contreras solo shot, navigating around five hits and no walks while striking out eight. He probably could have gone one more inning, as he left the mound with 92 rather stress-free pitches, but working with an 8-1 lead, Dave Roberts took Kershaw out.
Offensive déjà vu for the Dodgers
Will Smith and Miguel Vargas came right back with home runs in their second straight game, combined with a three-RBI day for Freddie Freeman, to power this slug-fest against Brewers pitching.
Miley began the day with a 2.31 ERA over six starts, as one of the more surprising performers in the National League, and through three innings, he looked poised for another strong outing, as he sat down the Dodgers in order, in his first time through the lineup, retiring nine straight to begin the game.
However, the damage came in the fourth, as Freeman and Smith went yard, back-to-back, to give the Dodgers a lead they’d never relinquish.
The Brewers cut that lead in half, when Contreras jumped on a hanging slider from Kershaw, for a home run down the left-field line. However, the Dodgers' offense didn’t let the tension build, scoring six runs over the following two innings.
Vargas continued his recent run of power, with another two-run bomb, his second in as many days. In fact, nine of the last 12 hits by Vargas have been for extra bases, including his four home runs on the year.
Home runs: Freddie Freeman (6), Will Smith (6) Miguel Vargas (4); William Contreras (3)
WP — Clayton Kershaw (6-2): 7 IP, 5 hits, 1 run, 8 strikeouts
LP — Wade Miley (3-2) 5 IP, 6 hits, 7 runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
The Dodgers return home for another three-game series with the Padres beginning Friday night (7:10 p.m.; SportsNet LA, MLB Network). Dustin May will go up against likely Blake Snell.