Kershaw’s winless dominance

F-18s fly over Dodger Stadium prior to the home opener. © Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers 2012

Some Tuesday postgame data, courtesy of ESPN Stats and Information:

How Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw dominated the Pirates despite not picking up a win:
- Sixty-five of Kershaw’s 88 pitches (73.9 percent) went for strikes, the highest percentage of his career.
- Kershaw went to a three-ball count to the first hitter of the game, the only one he went to all game. The one three-ball count matches his career low in a start.
- Pirates hitters were 0 for 7 with five strikeouts in at-bats ending with Kershaw’s slider.
- With two strikes, Pirates hitters were 0 for 11 with seven strikeouts.

Kershaw held the Pirates hitless in six at-bats with runners in scoring position on Tuesday, continuing his dominance of hitters when getting into a jam.

Lowest BA Allowed With RISP, Starting Pitchers, Since Start of 2011 Season

Ian Kennedy .142
Jeremy Hellickson .161
Ricky Romero .173
Jhoulys Chacin .173
Clayton Kershaw .185 (0-6 on Tuesday vs Pirates)

* * *

Matt Kemp went 0-4 on Tuesday, but drove in a run for the ninth straight game. The nine straight games with a RBI ties a Dodgers’ record.

Most Consecutive Games with RBI, Dodgers History
Matt Kemp 9 (2011-12)
Roy Campanella 9 (1955)
Augie Galan 9 (1944)

* * *
Andre Ethier, on his 30th birthday, hit a game-winning home run in the eighth inning in the Dodgers’ win over the Pirates. The last player to celebrate his 30th birthday by hitting a game-winning homer in the eighth inning or later was Jerry Mumphrey for the Yankees against Milwaukee on September 9, 1982. Mumphrey hit a 10th inning homer in that game. (Elias Sports Bureau)

* * *

  • In a story for Variety, I explore how much TV networks can justify bidding billions of dollars for the rights to broadcast baseball games. Nice to see Dee Gordon flying across the top of the paper …
  • In five games, Gordon has four steals in five tries, and replays showed he was safe on the time he was called out.
  • MIke Petriello of Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness conveniently tackles a subject I was mulling myself: how Chad Billingsley does in his next start following a great outing. It might also be worth looking at how Billingsley does after a high pitch count in his most recent appearance.
  • Today in Jon SooHoo: A photo gallery from the home opener.
  • Sons of Steve Garvey has its own nice photo recap of Tuesday.
  • His Dodger shortstop predecessor, Rafael Furcal, is 10 for 23 with three doubles, two walks and two steals to start 2012: 1.045 OPS.
  • Here’s an Associated Press story on security at Dodger Stadium for the first home opener since Bryan Stow was attacked.
  • Joe Torre conceded to Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com that at times, Matt Kemp was a difficult player for him to manage.
  • Jonah Keri of Grantland and Dave Cameron of Fangraphs discuss the need and desire to kill the save statistic and replace it with something more useful.
  • Don Mattingly and Peter O'Malley. © Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers 2012

    Another gem by Josh Wilker at Cardboard Gods, inspired by the hyphen.
  • A baseball card featuring Reggie Smith and Ryne Sandberg is the subject of a piece by Bruce Markusen for the Hardball Times.
  • Dixie Walker will be played by Ryan Merriman of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars in the upcoming Jackie Robinson biopic, 42, reports Justin Kroll of Variety.
  • Eleven contract extensions have been signed by pre-arbitration-eligible players since the end of last season; Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLB Trade Rumors looks at the trend.
  • Carlos Santana became one of those players, signing a five-year, $21 million extension. Mike Axisa of Fangraphs examines the deal.
  • At the bottom of this Fangraphs post, you are asked to rate Dodger radio announcers Charley Steiner and Rick Monday.
  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Hopefully Kershaw won’t go 0 for 2012! ;)

    Hope the weather down there clears up in time for the game. I still remember the rain delayed mess of a game that Bills started a few years ago. 
    Btw, does anyone know what music Kemp chose for his walk-up song yesterday? Was just curious, he chatted about it on Conan this week. (I blame his appearance on Conan for his 0-fer yesterday.)

    • Anonymous

       I think it would be pretty awesome if Kershaw were to go 0-0 with a 0.90 ERA and 250 Ks this season.  Might finally put to rest the notion that a pitcher should be assigned a W or L.

      • Dave Alden

        Would that season garner a  Cy Young?

        • Anonymous

          I actually think it would.  Hard to ignore a full season of 0.90 ERA and dominance.  It could only happen if the team gave him no runs, but it would show once and for all that Wins are not something a pitcher has any control over.  Never happen, of course.

    • Anonymous

      The infamous Bizarro game against the giants in 2008.  Torre later had him pitch during his throw day and when he finally started a game for real, he lost 4 straight.  Only to come back with a 16-10 year and ERA+ 133.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    “Two baseball sources Tuesday identified former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley as an interested party in Padres.”
    http://bit.ly/HycZSs

    • Anonymous

       That’s just wrong.

  • Anonymous

    With Lilly scheduled to start Saturday, is Lindblom still most likely to give up his roster spot? Or will there be a convenient injury?

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

       Unless they cut Wright, I don’t see any other alternative.

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Interesting: 
    Bill Shaikin ‏ @BillShaikin The L.A. Times has objected to McCourt’s request that the conditions for land use surrounding Dodger Stadium be sealed. Hearing Friday.

  • Anonymous

    Fangraphs shows Vin the highest-regarded TV broadcaster (natch), but the Dodgers’ Away Game team as second lowest, with an average ranking of 2.1 (5 is highest; Vin gets a 4.7)  Collins can take satisfaction in being better liked than Hawk Harrelson, however.  It’s the baseball equivalent of being better respected than Carrot Top.  

    • Anonymous

      Gallagher?

  • Anonymous

    Jim Cramer?

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Verlander’s streak of 16 scoreless innings to start season ends in four-run ninth vs. Tampa Bay.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    RT @tomhoffarth: Word is Vin Scully out again tonight, Steiner and Lyons on TV, Kevin Kennedy joins Rick Monday on radio 

    Kevin Kennedy and Rick Monday. Holy cow.

    • Anonymous

      Hudler was not available.

    • Anonymous

      Kevin Kennedy? He used to be a manger, right?

  • Anonymous

    The TV deals really are incomprehensible to me, especially if the channel is going to be exclusive to a team in a sport.  What’s made FSW and Prime Ticket good is the fact that they’ve basically split the six major pro teams in the market, along with all the local affiliates for other games.  I can’t imagine that the Lakers Network or the Dodgers or Angels networks are going to generate much rating or interest in the off season.  I mean, does the MLB or NBA channels get anything during the off season when they’re showing games from the archives?

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

       That’s why Time Warner Cable wants to bid on the Dodgers.

      Laker season is basically nine months, though, so that almost gets you what you need.

  • Anonymous

    Jonathan Broxton trying to close it out in Oakland for the Royals in the bottom of the 12th. 4-3 Royals.

  • Anonymous

    After a K, the next A’s batter reaches on an error. Even though the shortstop made it, I’m certain Broxton’s lack of character caused it.

  • Anonymous

    Then Broxton went walk, walk, RBI ground out, HBP, walkoff HBP.

    Sorry Kansas City.

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

       It’s like Jonathan Broxton Cliff Notes.

    • Anonymous

      Ouch, consecutive HBPs!  Not the slider, I suppose.

      • Anonymous

        Two straight fastballs.

  • Anonymous

    Is the Dodger game tape-delayed on TV tonight because of the Clippers?

    • Anonymous

      If the Dodgers take a back seat to the Clippers, that is just sad.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT