Rapid Reaction: Dodgers 9, Rockies 0
July, 4, 2014
By Brent W. New | ESPNLosAngeles.com
DENVER -- What’s worse than facing Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw?
Watching Colorado Rockies pitcher Jair Jurrjens run the bases, for starters.
But it probably wasn’t fun, either, when the Rockies had to toe the line against the game’s best left-handed pitcher with a patched-up lineup and an early 3-0 hole from which to dig out.
In the Dodgers’ eventual 9-0 win over Colorado on Friday, their offense hit for the cycle in the top of the first inning, then batted around the lineup in the fifth. And Kershaw (10-2, 1.85 ERA) blanked the host team for eight innings to extend his streak of scoreless innings to 36.
How it happened: Yasiel Puig put L.A. up 2-0 when he went yard on Jurrjens’ 1-1 pitch to straightaway center. Andre Ethier made it 3-0 after he tripled in Hanley Ramirez. The Dodgers’ offense wasn’t done from there, but they might as well have been, with, you know, Kershaw on the mound.
Kershaw faced a battered Colorado lineup -- one without All Stars Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Michael Cuddyer -- and strolled through his eight innings of work, allowing just two hits and no runs while walking one.
Colorado’s best chance to break through against the southpaw came in the third inning. Following a throwing error from Kershaw, the Rockies had men at the corners with only one out. Not surprising with a team that has lost 16 of its past 18 games, however, Jurrjens fell asleep at first base and was thrown out on a horrid steal attempt. Then outfielder Charlie Blackmon stuck out to end the threat.
In his past two games against the Rockies, which includes his June 18 no-hitter, Kershaw has thrown 17 spotless innings and struck out 23 while allowing just two hits.
Hits: The Dodgers had plenty of them. After a bit of an offensive lull these past few games, the Dodgers cranked out 19 hits and scored nine runs behind their trusty hurler. Dee Gordon, Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis each had three hits, and Scott Van Slyke added a three-run home run in the fifth inning. Kershaw also got into the offensive mix, lining two singles and driving in a run.
Misses: Ramirez was hit by an 89 mph fastball on the left shoulder from Jurrjens in the fifth inning and was taken out at the end of the inning. Although Ramirez looked fine, and his departure went hand-in-hand with Mattingly’s stated plans on Thursday, another sore muscle or bruise doesn’t seem to bode well for the injury-prone, 30-year-old shortstop.
Stat of the game: Every Dodger had a hit by the fourth inning. They came in all sorts. Puig and Van Slyke crushed no-doubters into the seats, while Gordon got aboard three times on hits that couldn’t have gone more than 20 feet -- combined.
Up next: Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he’d like to see his team go on a run and take a decent lead in the National League West. And with the second-place Giants struggling nearly as much as the Rockies, who the Dodgers face two more times this weekend, the possibility seems very real. Dan Haren (8-4, 3.57) will go against Colorado’s ace, Jorge De La Rose (8-6, 4.86), at 1 p.m. PT Saturday.