While the focus was on Clayton Kershaw’s reunion with a big-league pitcher’s mound tonight, Miami’s Jose Fernandez quietly stole the show.
The 24-year-old — who trails only Kershaw among MLB starting pitchers in ERA since 1920 — struck out 14 Dodgers, the most by any single pitcher against Los Angeles in 14 years, in a 4-1 Marlins victory.
With Miami’s bullpen producing three more strikeouts, the Dodger offense set a team record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game with 17. The previous mark of 16 was reached seven times, most recently in 2014.
Fernandez finished with seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and three walks.
The Dodger offense threatened Fernandez early, putting four of its first seven hitters on base. But Fernandez cut the correct wire both times, then went into overdrive — striking out the side in the third and fourth innings, on his way to matching Randy Johnson’s 14 strikeouts against the Dodgers on August 31, 2004.
Tom Seaver holds the single-game record for striking out Dodgers, with 16 on May 1, 1974. Seaver pitched 12 innings in the game and got a no-decision in a 2-1 Mets loss.
In the ninth against Fernando Rodney — who as a Tampa Bay Ray gave up four ninth-inning runs to the Dodgers on August 9, 2013 — the never-say-die Dodgers nearly rallied.
Starting things off, Yasmani Grandal tied Justin Turner for the team lead in homers with 25 with a solo shot. Josh Reddick and Joc Pederson singled, bringing up last week’s grand slam hero and Marlon Anderson equivalent, Andrew Toles, with none out.
Against reliever A.J. Ramos, Toles hit a similar drive to the game-winning shot in Colorado, but it stayed in the park. Then pinch-hitter Carlos Ruiz struck out on a full-count fastball, and Chase Utley finished the game as the Dodgers’ 17th strikeout of the night.
Josh Reddick in August: 87 at-bats, 15 total bases.
Josh Reddick in September: 16 at-bats, 15 total bases.
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) September 10, 2016
Reddick went 3 for 4 with a double, making him 10 for 16 with a .938 slugging percentage since the month began.
After tying a team record with their massive bullpen by using eight pitchers in a nine-inning game Wednesday, the Dodgers matched it tonight — and needed only eight innings to do so. That included shutout innings by Luis Avilan, Josh Ravin and Adam Liberatore.