Dodgers 3, Brewers 1: Kershaw throws a Kershaw

How close was Clayton Kershaw to a perfect game tonight?

Kershaw retired the first six Milwaukee Brewers tonight on 16 pitches, then walked Rickie Weeks, who had a .554 OPS entering the game, on five.

His next pitch was a ball to Yuniesky Betancourt, who followed with a single. Two infield outs later, Weeks scored.

Ryan Braun singled in the fourth and sixth innings, and Norichika Aoki reached base on a Dee Gordon throwing error in the eighth.

That was it: 107 pitches, 32 batters, 22 first-pitch strikes, three hits, one walk, five strikeouts. On five days’ rest after throwing a career-high 132 pitches, Kershaw dusted the Brewers, 3-1.

It wasn’t a perfect game. It wasn’t a shutout. But there should be a noun for the ease and control that Kershaw (who also singled in three at-bats) dominated Milwaukee.

Kershaw walked Weeks for the same reason Vin Scully sometimes says the wrong name, for that one time that Mother Theresa asked for seconds, for that spot on the Sistine Chapel floor where MIchelangelo let a drop of paint drip.

Kershaw threw a Kershaw.

* * *

Nice to see you again, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp.

Ethier tripled and homered. Kemp walked and homered. For Kemp, it was home run No. 2 on the season and really the first one he blasted, because home run No. 1 was an inside-out job that barely cleared the right-field fence in New York’s Citi Field.

 

  • http://www.facebook.com/ker.garin Ker Garin

    Brian Wilson is available but the question is not if his arm is sound, but will he want to pitch for L.A., since he is a dyed in the wool fan of the Boston Celtics…

  • Anonymous

    The last thread was welcome back Jon (deserved) and this one is welcome back Dodgers. That was Dodger Baseball.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1172439252 Michael Green

    Jon, the line about The Vin, Mother Teresa and the Sistine Chapel is worthy of Bartlett’s.

  • Anonymous

    On John Aus’ side of the world for teh next two weeks. Missed this one and need to see how I fit the Bums into my work schedule.

    • Anonymous

      Welcome :)

  • foul tip

    Sunday to me felt like season bottom. Another pen meltdown after leading all 3 games against what has been called baseball’s best team, hitting batters, walking many, coming nearer being no-hit than putting up any kind of offense, playing keepaway with the ball. Good grief, Charlie Brown.

    Sometimes when it seems things couldn’t get any worse and won’t get better, they don’t get worse and DO start to get better. This team has too much pure talent to continue with this kind of record (he said, hopefully).

    The traditional Dodger strength, starting pitching, has all been Kershawesque lately. From dodgers.com:

    ” Dodgers starting pitching is 5-1 with a 1.60 ERA (10 earned runs in 56
    1/3 innings) in its past nine starts. In that time, those pitchers have
    struck out 53.”

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

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/print.jsp?ymd=20130520&content_id=48058484

    The last time a game was essentially decided by a first-pitch home run? You have to go all the way back to Sept. 2, 1963 – until Saturday.

    • Anonymous

      “And it demonstrated, efficiently and effectively, that the first pitch matters just as much as the last or any that come in-between.”

      Does it? If this hasn’t happened in 50 years, I’d say it demonstrates that the first pitch isn’t very important at all. Once every 100,000 games (50 years, 162 games per year, average of 14 games per day) it happens, but no more often than that. In that period, there have been 127 no-hitters and 17 perfect games.

  • Anonymous

    Hate to say it, but Patrick Corbin (who?) was even better. He also threw a complete game for the D’backs, held the Rockies to three hits (in Colorado) and one walk, and breezed through nine innings in 97 pitches while striking out 10. Now I don’t expect him to be the league’s best pitcher at season’s end, but were it not for Clayton’s stellar season, we’d all be talking about “the next Strasburg.”

    • Anonymous

      The difference is Clayton is pitching for the Dodgers — he KNOWS he MUST be near-perfect because he won’t get much support in the runs department (nor in the department of defense, lately).

      That kind of pressure is probably comparable to a manager of a $200+ million last-place team expecting the ax to drop at any moment.

  • http://farinella.com/ David Farinella

    Inspired by Matt Kemp’s offer to donate $1k per home run from now until the All-Star game I am pledging $10 per Kemp home run and $10 per Kershaw strikeout to help out the OKC families effected by the tornado. I know it’s not $1k per, but it’s what I can do responsibly. Anyone care to join in? A little Dodger Thoughts does good thing?

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

    NPUT

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Dodgers lineup:

    Crawford LF
    Punto 3B
    Gonzalez 1B
    Kemp CF
    Ethier RF
    A Ellis C
    Schumaker 2B
    Gordon SS
    Greinke P

  • Anonymous

    Get the K, Zack.

  • Anonymous

    Walks hurt.
    2-out walks hurt more.
    Walks which score hurt most.