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Dodgers Pummeled By Brewers

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Russell Martin talking with Clayton Kershaw in his short outing. AP Photo/Danny Moloshok

Russell Martin talking with Clayton Kershaw in his short outing. AP Photo/Danny Moloshok
On fleece blanket giveaway night at Dodger Stadium, there was nothing warm about the Milwaukee Brewers’ reception to Dodger pitching. Having only scored two runs in their four-game series in San Diego while being shut out three times, the Brewers battered Dodger starter Clayton Kershaw to the tune of seven runs in their 11-6 pounding of the Dodgers.

Reliever Charlie Haeger put it best. “It sucks to lose.”

Kershaw didn’t help his own cause doing his best impression of Mitch Williams during his brief 1 1/3 innings of work.

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After getting ahead of lead-off hitter Rickie Weeks 0-2 Kershaw made four straight pitches that didn’t come close to the strike zone. With Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder looming in the lineup Kershaw gave up a single to Carlos Gomez sending the speedy Weeks to second. Not intimidated by the heart of the Brewers’ order, Kershaw struck out Braun and Fielder before getting Casey McGehee to ground to second to get out of the inning.

“I thought we dodged a bullet,” manager Joe Torre said about getting out of the first inning.

While the first inning was the prelude, the real safari came in the second inning. Kershaw gave up a lead-off walk to Corey Hart and decided to become even wilder hitting Gregg Zaun with a 93-mph fastball on his left wrist. Alcides Escobar made him pay for his sins by grounding a soft single to left scoring Hart for the 1-0 Brewers lead.

Kershaw struck out opposing pitcher Chris Narveson and gave up a single to Weeks to load the bases. Kershaw proved to be untamable and hit Gomez on the left elbow to score Zaun for the 2-0 lead. You know things are bad when a hitter you hit with a pitch scores when you hit a batter.

And things kept getting worse. On a 1-1 pitch to the next hitter Braun, Kershaw threw a slider over the heads of everyone. Fortunately it ricocheted off the backstop forcing the runners to stay in place.

Two pitches later, Braun lined a double down the left field line clearing the bases making it a 5-0 lead. And just to top everything off with a cherry, the last pitch Kershaw made ended up beyond the right centerfield wall thanks to Fielder. 7-0.

“I just didn’t pitch good,” Kershaw said. “It was pretty much everything. There is not a whole lot of positives that came from tonight.”

“His stuff was good,” Torre mitigated. “He just didn’t have the command you need to have.”

After Kershaw was dispatched to the showers it didn’t get much better.

Ramon Ortiz after getting McGehee to hit back to the box gave up a single to Hart and a homer to Zaun for 9-0 lead. The inning mercifully ended when Escobar, the 12th batter to come up in the inning, popped up to second.

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This eventful second inning marked the first time since the fifth inning against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on June 11, 2002 that the Dodgers gave up nine runs in one inning.

Ortiz settled down in the third inning and retired the side in order.

Knuckleballer Charlie Haeger and made things interesting in the fourth inning giving up a triple to Braun and allowing him to score on a McGehee single. But he went four innings giving up only that run on a total of five hits and a walk while striking out three.

“I wish I didn’t give up the run the first inning I came in there,” Haeger said. “But it was some positive stuff I guess.”

Carlos Monasterios came in the eighth inning and didn’t want to be left out of the run party on an RBI single by McGehee that made it 11-3.

The Dodgers scored twice in the fifth inning thanks to sacrifice flies by Jamey Carroll and Haeger and once in the fifth inning on a James Loney groundout.

And the masochists who decided to stay saw James Loney hit a three-run shot to straightaway centerfield to bring the Dodgers to within five runs making it an 11-6 deficit.

“We kept plugging,” Torre said. “Unfortunately we were too far behind.”

While there is no denying that Kershaw had an awful game, this was his first bad game of the season. And perhaps age is a little more than a number as both Torre and Kershaw intimated.

“We all have to keep in mind how young he is and what limited experience he has,” Torre said. “This is going to happen every once in a while.”

“A lot of people tell me growing up the way that they look at your character is how you handle adversity,” Kershaw said. “So I’m going to try and bounce back and have a good one on Sunday.”

It was not an easy game to stomach for the 50,714 who deigned to show up and witness this mess. At least they got a blanket out of it and saw highlights of the Jazz-Lakers game in between innings.

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