Kershaw Shuts Down Mariners; Backed By Explosive Bats

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Clayton Kershaw allowed only one run over seven strong innings, in which he allowed just four hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. Kershaw was given a large lead before he even threw a pitch when the Dodgers rallied for five runs in the first inning against Roenis Elias. In the end, the Dodgers routed the Mariners 12-1, winning their first series of the month.

Whoever said Kershaw won’t be any good without throwing his curveball as much should take a look at the way Kershaw pitched yesterday afternoon. All of his strikeouts came on either the slider or fastball. The key to Kershaw’s success came in the fact that he hit his target on almost every pitch. When a pitcher can do that, he will be dominant.

Now, on to the bats. The Dodgers loaded the bases in the first inning, courtesy of two singles and a walk. Cody Bellinger then hit a two-run single to right field. This was followed by a Kiké Hernández RBI single to left field. Then with two outs, Yasiel Puig hit a two-run single to right field, giving the Dodgers a 5-0 lead. At the end of the first inning, the Dodgers had five runs, five hits, three stolen bases, and Brian Dozier had two at-bats.

The Dodgers were given a run in the fourth inning when a fielding error and two singles loaded the bases. Hernández then took ball four, forcing in a run and giving the Dodgers a 6-0 lead.

In the fifth inning, Dozier reached base, then stole second, allowing Justin Turner to drive him in with a single. This is why stolen bases are so important. If a team steals a lot of bases, simple base hits will drive in runs. When they don’t steal bases, they need doubles or home runs to score.

In the sixth inning, Hernández’s game got even better. With two outs, Hernández destroyed a breaking ball, hitting it into the seats above the Dodgers’ bullpen. This capped Hernández’s two-hit, three-RBI game.

If you think the Dodgers were done scoring after taking an 8-1 lead, you’re wrong. Justin Turner still had more damage to do. In the seventh inning, Turner drove in a run with a single to left field, extending the Dodger lead to 9-1. Then, in the ninth, Turner hit a pitch from Andrew Romine (a shortstop by the way) with just enough backspin that it hit the wall and bounced over for a three-run home run. At the end of the day, Turner had four hits and five RBIs.

Don’t Let Your Position Player Pitch!

In the ninth inning, the Mariners brought in Andrew Romine to pitch. The Dodgers had already seen him in the series when they blew past the Mariners 11-1. Not only did Romine give up a three-run homer, he also hit a batter. And this isn’t one of those where the ball is traveling under 40mph.

Romine hit Manny Machado on the wrist with an 86mph fastball. I know Romine didn’t do it on purpose. And that’s exactly the problem. Position players aren’t used to pitching. When they get on the mound, they don’t have the control of their pitches they need.

If a manager is going to put a position player in the game, he should make sure the “pitcher” doesn’t actually throw pitches. For the safety of everyone involved, lob the ball! Or even better, put in a pitcher!

Up Next:

The Dodgers are back at home to host the St. Louis Cardinals in a series that has playoff significance for both teams. As the standings are right now, the Dodgers and Cardinals will both be fighting for an NL Wild Card spot. Alex Wood will take the mound for the Dodgers opposite Austin Gomber. Wood hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his last eleven starts. The game will start at 7:10pm PT.

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