Where Jerry Park meets Clayton Place: Dodgers roll, 8-3

And to think the Dodgers and their fans thought they had a supersub over the past two years in Jamey Carroll.

Jerry Hairston Jr. continued his world-beating tour of 2012 on Saturday, delivering a home run and two doubles in the Dodgers’ 8-3 victory over Seattle. Thirteen days after knocking a career-high five hits, the 36-year-old Hairston drove in a career-high five runs, including a three-run home run smashed down the line in left in the first inning that put the Dodgers ahead for good.

In 101 plate appearances this season, Hairston has a .435 on-base percentage and .525 slugging percentage, which puts him on pace to become one of the best Dodger reserves in many a moon. Since the franchise’s last World Series title in 1988, according to Baseball-Reference.com, the only true Dodger reserve to have a higher adjusted OPS in a single season than what Hairston has so far in 2012 is Dave Hansen.

Hairston managed to overshadow Clayton Kershaw, who got the win after striking out 12 in seven innings today. There have been “What’s wrong with Kershaw” mutterings this season, which might have revived after he gave up a three-run home run today to Miguel Olivo in the fourth inning. Given his new battle with plantar fasciitis, I might have been ready to join in had something gone wrong today, and I can’t say I’ve stopped worrying that something will.

But let’s now compare Kershaw’s current stats with last year’s through June 9, 2011.

Year	G	IP	ERA	OPS	K/9	WHIP
2011	14	91.67	3.44	.605	10.0	1.15
2012	13	88.33	2.65	.610	8.3	1.00

Kershaw’s 2011 numbers were inflated by consecutive outings to start June in which he allowed six runs apiece.  The flawless Kershaw that won the Cy Young Award didn’t really kick into gear until after this point of the season. So yeah, his 2012 strikeouts show a decline, but overall, Kershaw is actually off to a better start.

That, combined with Ronald Belisario, who pitched another shutout inning, practically filling the role of 2010 Hong-Chih Kuo (his ERA now sits at 1.10), Todd Coffey lowering his ERA to 3.18 since coming off the disabled list with a shutout ninth, and a 14-hit attack on offense, meant the Dodgers could put the memories of Friday’s no-hit loss far behind them.

  • Anonymous

    The umpire in the Kent State-Oregon game just Dick Dietzed a Ducks hitter who tried to force in a run  after getting hit by a pitch. It looked like the guy stuck his leg out over the plate.

    He was called out on strikes on the next pitch.

    • Anonymous

      Drysdale’s 56 inning streak. I remember listening to that game and that play in particular. Naturally Dietz was a Giant…

      • Anonymous

        I was also listening to that game, and Dietz proved himself a Gnat (though, in an earlier incarnation, he had been a Tacoma Giant).

  • Anonymous

    Also through four innings, Oregon has a 1 0 1 line score.

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

      Too bad that linescore doesn’t belong to Ventura College.

  • Anonymous

    Oh how we’ve grown accustomed to brilliance by Kershaw that a 12-strikeout game can be seen as a disappointment.

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

      Not by me!

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

        Yeah I wasn’t disappointed at all today other than the one subpar inning. In fact, I was rather relieved after a couple of worrisome starts before.

        • Anonymous

          Clayton is just lucky that we have already applied the meltdown label to Bills, who is also bogarting the crown of Mr. Inconsistent!

  • Anonymous

    Paul Lo Duca is the color commentator for ESPNU for the Oregon-Kent State game.

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

    What a Difference a Day Makes
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmBxVfQTuvI
    I watched the game late via MLBTV and normally would fast forward thru some of the non-ad parts but just couldn’t take my eyes off Kershaw pitching and looking terrific, save for one subpar inning. Amazing stat about first ground ball out happening in the 9th inning. And the offense woke up as I hoped after yesterday’s goose egg. I wish Dodgers had one more OF they could use (like, say, Sands) in this series to give Ethier more time off, he still looks tired to me though he’s also faced a bunch of good lefties this past week. Also wish I had Hairston on my fantasy baseball team today. Wait, I don’t have a fantasy baseball team. But if I did! 

    How about the M’s fan’s nice catch robbing the Mariners’ left fielder, btw? Hahahaha.

    • Anonymous

      Fantasizing much?

  • Anonymous

    He is the best pitcher I’ve seen in a very long time.  

  • Anonymous

    I’m sure my problem is that my expectations of Kershaw are so high that any run or bad inning seems like a down. That is not realistic!

    • Anonymous

      I catch myself having the same problem. Only saw bits yesterday but the ball 4 pitch to the batter prior to the HR looked like strike 3 to me also.

    • Christopher Staaf

      Same here. I expect Kid K to throw a shutout each time out and that’s just not realistic. The statline compared to last season really put things in perspective. 

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

    Nick Cafardo picks Mattingly as top manager so far this year
    http://bostonglobe.com/sports/2012/06/10/managers-top-major-league-baseball/RYnpY8jOFolTyogSKTdlsJ/story.htmlWhile he’s right that the Dodgers are overachieving and Donnie’s done a good job, seems a little unfair in his assessment of team as “AAA players”. They obviously have gotten help from minor leaguers and other surprising sources, but he makes no mention of Kemp, who was key for a month. Nor Ethier, nor AJ Ellis (not a “AAA player”). If he wants to compliment the job Mattingly’s done he could just mention all the players on the DL. But whine whine whine it’s still a nice shout-out.

    • Anonymous

      Not to mention Herrera and DeJesus are the only AAA guys who haven’t managed to stink up the joint. If anything, this is a team of overachieving vets.

  • bcmaiden

    Okay, I’m one of those who expressed seeing a different Kershaw this year. I’m amazed at the comps. So, as you say, the Cy Young version showed up after this point and that’s what is fresh in my mind. The good news is that the kid will be dominant the rest of the season. He did pitch great yesterday with 12 SO’s, but I was worried about the pitch count. 

  • Anonymous

    I wish baseball players would take lesson from football (i.e. soccer players) and applaud the fans after the contest is over.  Instead its more like “don’t let the door hit you on your way out.”

    • Anonymous

      In Buenos Aires, they have to escape the field before the barrabravas (hooligans) can assault them.

    • Anonymous

      Each baseball game doesn’t have the same emotional impact as a soccer match. Are Dodger fans going to stay longer at games if they know that at the end of it Kenley Jansen and AJ Ellis are going to salute the fans?

    • Anonymous

      They should do the “2-4-6-8…” and leave it to the batboys to collect the gloves later.

      • Anonymous

        I would stay to shake their hands, say hi, good game.   And I’m always amenable to a nice whiskey!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Goal for the Irish!!!
    They have tied the match 1-1 vs Croacia

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

    NPUT