With the season that Clayton Kershaw has turned in so far, the outcomes begin to run together. It would become a dull subject if everybody were so good at doing their job but what Kershaw does every time he pitches is masterful. Los Angeles Dodgers‘ manager Don Mattingly nailed it after the game.
“Just take the quotes from the last game,” said Mattingly.
The lefty was dominant once again Tuesday night completing another eight innings and allowing just a run as the Dodgers defeated the Washington Nationals 4-1.
The only blemish on the night for Kershaw was a Bryce Harper solo homer in the seventh inning. It was the first time since September 8 of last season that a left-handed batter managed an RBI against Kershaw.
Other than that it was business as usual for the Dodger ace who struck out eight while walking two and giving up three hits. Kershaw has now given up one run or less in 16 of his 23 starts this season and gone at least eight innings in 10 of those.
The last time a left-handed pitcher posted a 1.70 ERA or lower for a complete season was Carl Hubbell in 1933. Kershaw lowered his ERA to 1.70 Tuesday and became the first to win his 17th game in baseball.
Kershaw also led the way on offense with a one-out single up the middle in the fifth. The Dodgers offense hadn’t figured out Nationals starter Doug Fister to that point in the game and the single started a rough stretch for the visiting club.
Dee Gordon followed with a single of his own to center and Kershaw put Harper’s arm to the test when he kept running around second. Kershaw made it safely to third and Gordon took advantage of the throw moving to second.
Two batters later Adrian Gonzalez hit a ground ball that Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond who was able to get to the ball however without a play to be made. That is, until Gordon kept running around third headed towards the plate. Desmond — having a tough night on defense — sailed his throw home over the head of his catcher allowing Gordon to score.
Fister got out of the inning but wouldn’t get an out in the sixth. The right-hander would leave the game after allowing the first four batters of the inning to reach, highlighted by a Juan Uribe two-run homer.
The two teams will play at 12:10 PT Wednesday afternoons the Dodgers look to tie the Nationals for the best record in the National League.
WP: Clayton Kershaw (17-3, 1.70)
LP: Doug Fister (12-6, 2.66)
S: Kenley Jansen (39)
-Rookie Joc Pederson made his first start in center field and got his first career hit going 1-for-3 with a walk.