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By Jon Weisman
Throwing out Matt Kemp at home in the bottom of the fourth inning emboldened the Washington Nationals, who then threw on wings of wax too close to the sun.
The Dodgers broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth with some beyond-daring baserunning, then added a two-run Juan Uribe homer in the sixth to give Clayton Kershaw more than enough support for a 4-1 victory Wednesday.
After Kershaw singled to start the inning, he dared to go from first to third on Dee Gordon’s single to center fielder Bryce Harper. Harper’s throw was offline, which led third baseman Asdrubal Cabrera to try to nail Gordon at second base, a fool’s errand if there ever was one.
One out later, with runners then on second and third, Adrian Gonzalez grounded to the hole at short. Ian Desmond bobbled it as Kershaw crossed the plate, then nearly pierced the sky with a wild throw home that freed Gordon to score.
It was weird, wild stuff, man.
Kershaw, who became the only Dodger besides Sandy Koufax to reach the 200-strikeout mark for five consecutive seasons (Koufax did it for six, from 1961-66), once again managed the near-impossible, lowering his already ant-high ERA, from 1.73 to 1.70. He gave up a second-inning single and walks in the first and third innings, before retiring 12 in a row until Bryce Harper hit a two-out homer just before the seventh inning stretch.
The Dodger Insider cover boy allowed one more hit before leaving after eight innings with eight strikeouts, throwing 108 pitches.
What else can be said of the magnificent Clayton Kershaw?
…That boy, Kersh, can even hit!