Dodgers give opponents the Kershaw treatment

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw stands and delivers a two-hit, eight strikeouts outing against the San Diego Padres on Opening Day. The Dodgers defeated the Padres 14-3 at Dodger Stadium. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline.com

“If there’s a guy with the game on the line, I still trust him,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts chimed-in about Logan Forsythe’s walk-off hit. “It takes a lot of mental strength to strike out four times, take a walk, and then come up with the game on the line and get a hit.” 

LOS ANGELES-The Dodgers took two of the three games they played in a recent homestand against the Cardinals. It was a tough go, as it always is for Los Angeles against St. Louis. Dodgers pitching ace Clayton Kershaw faced down his arch nemesis, the Cardinals, during the first game in a three-game series and almost lost again. 

Thanks to Logan Forsythe, his first game back off the disabled list, and his walk-off double scoring Kike Hernandez, Kershaw was able to avoid the Cardinals hex in a 13-inning marathon, 2-1 victory. 

Even though the win was awarded to Josh Fields, Kershaw was happy not to get a loss as he pitched nine innings, with one earned run, 10 strikeouts and three hits.

“Our relievers did awesome and it’s awesome to have Logan back,” Kershaw said. “It was a rough night [for Forsythe with four strikeouts] before that, but he grinds through an at-bat and puts a great swing on the ball and wins the game, the first game back.  Just a testament to him and the way he approaches the game.”

The Dodgers’ relievers that Kershaw spoke of were Kenley Jansen, Pedro Baez, Luis Avilan and game winner Fields. They allowed only one hit in four scoreless innings.

Kershaw needed just two more outs in the ninth inning to notch his 16th career shutout and 25th complete game when a wild pitch to Dexter Fowler got by catcher Yasmani Grandal, allowing Randal Grichuk to score from second base to tie the game.

“It was a tough pitch to block,” Kershaw said. “Just unfortunate, no way else to put it.  The way it bounced and where it ended up. Two bases on a wild pitch, that’s no fun.”

Dodgers pitching ace Clayton Kershaw is still at the top of his game. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline.com

Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn also had a magnum opus in the making after allowing a home run in the first inning off the bat of Yasmani Grandal. After allowing Grandal’s homer, Lynn halted the Dodgers batters up until the eighth inning when Chase Utley got a single.

“This one was pretty special,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.  “Once again, you knew when we headed into this, I figured it was going to be a well-pitched game on both sides.  I thought our bullpen came in and did a great job, too. It was going to be who got that big hit, and it was them. Just a dogfight.”

“I was just able to execute more times than not tonight,” Lynn said.  “If I don’t give up any runs, then we can’t lose. That’s how I approach every game. You want to outduel whoever you’re pitching against that night.”

Lynn’s handiwork lowered the Cardinals’ rotation ERA to 3.06, tops in the MLB.  Three members of the pitching staff — Mike Leake (2.03), Lynn (2.53) and Michael Wacha (2.74) — individually rank among the NL’s top five.

Be that as it may, the Cardinals fell for the fifth time in six games with this loss.

“We’ve faced a lot of good arms,” Grichuk said. “It’s baseball. If the pitchers keep doing what they’re doing, we know what kind of offense we’re capable of and it’s going to come around.”

“If there’s a guy with the game on the line, I still trust him,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts chimed-in about Forsythe’s walk-off hit. “It takes a lot of mental strength to strike out four times, take a walk, and then come up with the game on the line and get a hit. Kike’s at-bat shouldn’t go unnoticed. He’s played good baseball for us.” 

Steven Lieberman
About Steven Lieberman 29 Articles
Steven LIeberman is a veteran sports/arts/entertainment journalist. Lieberman has covered entertainment and professional sports, Including the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball, for the past 14 years. Among his entertainment work, Lieberman covers concerts, theatre and events.