Just Another Gem for Clayton Kershaw
There are really no words, superlative or otherwise, to describe the artistry that is a Clayton Kershaw pitched game.
Manager Don Mattingly gave it a good try. "Just typical Clayton, right," he asked.
All Kershaw did was pitch eight innings giving up a run on six hits while striking out eight in the Dodgers 2-1 victory against the the Cincinnati Reds. The Arizona Diamondbacks breathing down the Dodgers back and having obliterated the San Diego Padres 10-0, the Great Indoors becoming an abattoir for the Padres as Vin Scully described it. The Cincinnati Reds needing to win almost every game being in third place in the NL Central despite being 15 games over .500.
"Every pitch," Mattingly continued stumbling for words to adequately describe his ace. "He's just relentless as far as every hitter, every pitch, every inning. He just continues on. It's one of the greatest things about Clayton."
Kershaw didn't have words for it also. "I felt good tonight," he commented. Let's nominate that as the understatement of the year.
But what do you ask someone who just pitched a gem of a game and lowered his ERA to 1.96? What do you ask someone who more often than not will lead a team to victory?
A couple of batters will reach base, but the likeliest outcome is them standing on that same base as the Dodgers head back to the dugout to go on offense. Sometimes it does get monotonous until you remember that this does not happen to mere mortals. There are a very select few who have the same skill and whose names I won't mention in respect to Kershaw and those greats.
The assist for this game went to Hanley Ramirez who belted a two-run homer in the sixth inning off of starter Homer Bailey. "I was trying to get a good pitch to drive," Ramirez said. "I think he left something over the plate, and I put a good swing on it."
For Ramirez this marks the first real chance he's had to be in the playoffs. The close game, the increased intensity: Ramirez felt that in this game.
"This game today was unbelievable," Ramirez said. "That's it right there. That's the feeling. That's the way you're supposed to play the game in the playoffs."
Fun fact: In 131 games started Homer Bailey armed with a career 4.39 ERA has two no-hitters. Clayton Kershaw with 170 starts and a 2.68 ERA has none. Of course other notable members of the no no-no club are Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Phil Niekro, Don Drysdale. If that doesn't disprove the existence of a god, I don't know what else will.
Reds Scorecard: (click to embiggen)
Dodgers Scorecard: (click to embiggen)