LOS ANGELES — Ever since the Dodgers were eliminated in the 2014 playoffs by the Cardinals, fair or not the story that just won’t go away is of Clayton Kershaw and his struggles against the Cards.
Saturday night Kershaw was dominant tossing eight shutout innings on just one hit, striking out 11 and walking a pair as the Dodgers beat the Cardinals 2-0.
“That’s a really competitive team,” said catcher A.J. Ellis. “Not many secrets between us and them with all the history we’ve had these last few years. It comes down to executing and Clayton had probably the best game he’s had all year as far as execution goes.”
It was a vintage Kershaw that didn’t allow even one baserunner to reach scoring position and St. Louis’ only hit was a chopper just out of the reach of Jimmy Rollins at short.
“Overall I don’t think it was too much different,” Kershaw said when asked what he is doing different recently. “I’m just getting the results I want, finally.”
Jaime Garcia matched Kershaw through six innings giving up only three hits to the Dodgers to that point. It was in the home half of the seventh that the Dodgers finally broke through.
Chris Heisey led off with a double into the left field corner to bring Yasiel Puig to the plate. Puig then lined a double of his own in the gap in right-center to give the Dodgers the lead. Justin Turner followed with a single off Kolten Wong‘s glove into center to knock in Puig for a 2-0 lead.
The hamstring looked fine for Puig both on the double and scoring from second.
Kenley Jansen shut the door in the ninth for his sixth save of the season and secure Kershaw’s fifth win of the season. The Dodgers will send Zack Greinke to the mound Sunday in the series finale.
WP: Clayton Kershaw (5-3, 3.36)
LP: Jaime Garcia (1-3, 2.67)
S: Kenley Jansen (6)