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Kershaw Fans 12 and Crawford Hits 2 Home Runs
I don't know what was the bigger Dodger story today in their 2-0 shutout win of the Milwaukee Brewers. The win returned them to .500 as they won their second consecutive series and third overall this season.
Clayton Kershaw. For all the troubles the Dodgers have had with the depth of their starting rotation, it figured the club could take a collective sigh with Kershaw on the mound his two recent mediocre outings notwithstanding.
It really did seems like it was going to be another one of those outing for Kershaw. Two singles in the first inning and a leadoff double in the second inning didn't bode well for him.
But Kershaw bore down retiring the next 18 batters until Carlos Gomez led off the eighth inning with a double. Kershaw ended his day striking out 12 Brewers while allowing only four hits in eight innings, the fifth time in his career he has struck out at least 12.
"I thought he did a good job of using his mix of pitches," manager Don Mattingly said. Kershaw seemed to get away from his off-speed pitches in those subpar games, but today showed Kershaw using his curveball to confound the right-handed heavy lineup of the Brewers occasionally using it on the first pitch.
Kershaw came a strikeout short of tying his career high that was set on April 15, 2009 against the San Francisco Giants.
And the Dodger starting pitching depth is looking pretty sad. When the Dodgers sent out the press release on Saturday that Stephen Fife, their scheduled starter for that night, was placed on the disabled list, I couldn't help but laugh at the absurdity of the situation the Dodgers found themselves in.
Having come into the season with eight starting pitchers, they had to resort to calling up 23-year old Simi Valley native Matt Magill from Triple-A Albuquerque for an emergency start. Fortunately Magill acquitted himself nicely going 6 2/3 innings giving up two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out seven. Unfortuantely it was Matt Guerrier who cost the Dodgers the game giving up home runs in the seventh and eighth innings in the Dodgers 6-4 loss.
Carl Crawford. On the first pitch he saw from Brewers starter Kyle Lohse, Crawford belted it to centerfield. It was Crawford's second leadoff homer of the season and the eighth in his career.
And just as things were starting to lag a little in the fifth inning, Crawford took a hanging off-speed pitch to right field for the 2-0 lead. It was his sixth multi-homer game.
With Kershaw on the mound, that was all the offense the Dodgers needed. Brandon League came in and got the easy save, his eighth of the season, needing only eight pitches to retire the side. In his previous three outings, League had given up three earned runs on five hits and a home run. So this was quite the sigh of relief.
Hanley Ramirez. Interesting things are a-brewin'. Hanley Ramirez played a rehab game in Class-A Rancho Cucamonga Saturday night where he went 1-for-3 with two RBI. Ramirez also handled three double plays in his six innings of play.
"His at-bats, his plays in the field were really good," Mattingly said before the game. "I was honestly surprised at his timing at the plate."
Mattingly repeated that Ramirez is still a medical matter and will not move forward until the medical staff clears him for play. Having said that Mattingly isn't ruling out Ramirez to return on Tuesday in time for his bobblehead. "Anything is possible with the way he looked last night," Mattingly commented.
Yasiel Puig. The Cuban wunderkind currently the sensation of Double-A Chattanooga, Puig was arrested in Chattanooga for speeding, reckless driving and driving without proof of insurance. Sure he was lighting up the league until he went on the disabled list last week, but there have been questions about his maturity among other things.
Hopefully Puig is getting all of the nonsense out of his system.