Clayton Kershaw pitched seven innings of two-run ball, allowing seven hits and striking out four. The Dodgers rallied behind their Ace, scoring five runs in the second inning, and Cody Bellinger hit a solo home run in the eighth inning as the Dodgers beat the Rockies 6-2.
Kershaw did not rely on the strikeout very much in his start on Friday night (striking out only four batters). Instead, he used the ground ball to get the outs he needed. He induced 10 groundouts in a much better start than his last one at Coors Field in which he allowed four earned runs. The Rockies managed to score two runs off Kershaw, both of them on RBI singles.
“The box score doesn’t tell the whole story,” Kershaw said. “It wasn’t pretty. Nothing was great about it by any means. The guys got some runs early for me. It wasn’t pretty, but I’ll take the win any day of the week.”
The Dodgers provided run support for Kershaw, something that was lacking during their last series at Coors Field. Most of the Dodgers runs came in the second inning as part of a five-run rally. Bellinger led off the inning with a walk, then after Yasmani Grandal struck out, Chris Taylor walked. Chase Utley, who has really heated up, was the next batter. He got a fastball from Tyler Chatwood and pulled it to left-center field. Charlie Blackmon dove, but couldn’t get it and Utley ran all the way to third base with a two-run triple.
Yasiel Puig was the next batter and he worked the third walk of the inning. Kershaw then attempted to bunt but hit it to close to Chatwood, who threw home to get Utley out. Joc Pederson then pulled a cutter from Chatwood into right field. It bounced to the wall and Puig scored on Pederson’s RBI double. Corey Seager then hit a 3-0 fastball down left field line for a two-run double and the Dodgers had a 5-0 lead in the second.
Bellinger hit his seventh homer in his sixteenth Major League game with a solo shot in the eighth inning. He got a curveball that stayed over the plate from Jake McGee and got the barrel on the ball. He hit it high and deep, but Carlos González was having fun with Bellinger and made it look like he would catch the ball. González even fooled Joe Davis, the Dodgers’ play-by-play announcer.
Kenley Jansen entered the game in the ninth inning, even though it was not a save situation. Mark Reynolds lined out to Pederson in center field, then Jansen got Ian Desmond to groundout to third base. Carlos González then hit a high fly ball to left field that looked like it could be a home run, but Kiké Hernández didn’t give up on the ball and caught it on the warning track.
Keys To The Game:
A Strike, Finally:
Tyler Chatwood walked three batters in the second inning, but finally found the zone against Chase Utley. The second pitch he threw was a fastball down the middle and Utley made him pay. He pulled the ball to right-center field for a triple and two runs scored. If I was Chatwood, I would have wished that I had thrown a ball that time too.
Too Many Balls:
This comes right on the heels of the last one. Tyler Chatwood threw way too many balls during Friday night’s game at Coors Field. He walked four batters, three of those walks coming in the second inning. Chatwood threw 85 pitches and only 45 for strikes. This means that out of all the pitches he threw, 40 of them were balls. There is an old baseball saying that goes, “a walk is as good as a hit.” The Dodgers proved this in the second inning when the three walks from Chatwood put runners on base, which allowed them to score more runs.
A Wild Pitch…Maybe Not:
In the fourth inning, the Rockies had Carlos González on third base and Pat Valakia on first base. Dustin Garneau was the batter with an 0-1 count. Clayton Kershaw threw a slider in the dirt that Yasmani Grandal tried to block with his body. It bounced away from him and Valakia attempted to advance to second. Grandal threw to second and Valakia was called safe. Chase Utley immediately asked the Dodgers dugout to take another look at the play, so they asked for a Manager’s review.
Replay showed that Valakia had come off the base, and Chris Taylor held the tag the entire time. It did not take long for the umpires in New York to decide that Valakia was out. The Dodgers caught a huge break and were also fortunate that González did not attempt to score on the throw to second.
Alex Wood will take the mound for the Dodgers and Tyler Anderson will pitch for the Rockies. Wood is off to a great start, but he has struggled against the Rockies, especially at Coors Field. In four starts, he has a record of 0-2 with an ERA of 11.25 at Coors Field. Anderson is coming off his best start of the season, when he pitched six innings of of one-run ball against the Diamondbacks. The game will start at 5:10 pm PT and be televised on SportsNet LA.