Five years after dominating the Rockies and throwing a no-hitter, Clayton Kershaw took the mound on his bobblehead night and shut down the Giants over 7 scoreless innings. He was backed by explosive bats from his teammates, including a leadoff homer by Joc Pederson and a Grand Slam by Kiké Hernández as the Dodgers won 9-0.
As he reflected back on his no-hitter, Kershaw was struck by how quickly a career goes by.
“It doesn’t seem like that long ago, but when you think about all the years in between, it does seem like a long time ago.”
“Your career goes fast, just a blink of an eye and you’re an ex-baseball player, longer than you are a baseball player. I try not to think about it too much, but it seems like it does go fast.”
Kershaw retired the first 4 batters he faced, but a walk and single in the second inning put him in some trouble. But the future Hall of Famer used a strikeout and a popup to end the inning. Kershaw ended the night with 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K.
Kershaw’s shutout was in jeopardy in the 6th inning when Cody Bellinger made a fantastic play to earn “M-V-P” chants. With a man on and one out, Tyler Austin hit a fly ball to the right-field wall, or rather, to Bellinger who made the catch and crashed into the wall.
Not only was the Dodger pitching and fielding great on Tuesday night, but the Dodger hitters were also great. They got off to an early lead, then wore down the starting pitcher and finally piled on against the bullpen.
It all started in the first inning when Pederson hit a leadoff homer against Giants’ starter, Shaun Anderson. The Dodgers quickly added another run on a Justin Turner RBI double, making it 2-0 in the first.
It took some time before the Dodgers scored again, but when they did, they did it in a thrilling way. With runners on the corners and no outs, Chris Taylor laid down a perfect bunt between the mound and first base. With no one to cover the bag, everyone was safe and the run scored.
The big blow came against the Giants’ bullpen when the Dodgers scored 6 runs in the seventh. David Freese drove in a run by hustling down the line to avoid an inning-ending double play, then Austin Barnes hit an RBI single to make it a 5-0 game.
Later that same inning, the Dodgers loaded the bases and Hernández came to the plate. Hernández, who has had a rough year and a rough month, did just what he needed to break out of a slump. He crushed a fastball for a no-doubt Grand Slam.
Game 3 of the series will feature Drew Pomeranz vs Rich Hill. Pomeranz is 2-6 on the year with a 6.43 ERA while Hill is on the other side of the spectrum with a 4-1 record and a 2.60 ERA. The game will begin at 7:10 pm.