Thursday, July 21, 2011
Kershaw tops Lincecum in pitchers' duel
Coming into Wedneday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw, San Francisco Giants' ace Tim Lincecum was 0-3 this season against pitchers named Clayton.
Lincecum can now add a fourth loss to that list and his second to Kershaw, all because of a single pitch.
With the game scoreless in the seventh inning, Lincecum coughed up a solo home run to Dodgers C Dioner Navarro. That hit proved to be all the offense Kershaw needed, as he held on for the win, 1-0.
Kershaw threw eight shutout innings, allowing just three hits and a walk, while striking out 12 to improve to 11-4 this season.
It is the sixth time Kershaw has struck out 10 or more batters in a game this season - tied with Cliff Lee for most in MLB.
Lincecum, meanwhile lasted seven innings, tallying seven strikeouts and allowing five hits.
Kershaw went to his curveball more often than usual to put Giants hitters away. Ten of his 26 two-strike pitches (38.5 percent) were curveballs, above his 12.9 season average entering the start.
Five of Kershaw's strikeouts were with his curveball, matching his most in a start in the last three seasons.
Four more of Kershaw's strikeouts came with his slider, giving him nine strikeouts on the day with offspeed pitches. He leads the league in strikeouts, mostly because of his ability to punch hitters out with his breaking ball pitches.
ELSEWHERE AROUND THE DIAMOND:
• Vance Worley continued his stretch of strong starts as he allowed one earned run in eight innings for his sixth victory of the season as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Chicago Cubs, 9-1.
Worley has now made six consecutive starts with five or more innings pitched, while allowing one earned run or fewer. The only other Phillies pitcher in the Live Ball Era (since 1920) with a streak that long is Steve Carlton, who did so in six straight in 1972.
Jimmy Rollins homered from both sides of the plate against the Cubs, the second time in his career that he has accomplished that feat (August 12, 2006 vs. Cincinnati Reds).
• In a 14-3 rout of the Florida Marlins, all nine San Diego Padres players scored a run en route to leading by at least 13 runs through two innings for the first time since May 31, 1994.
The last team overall prior to the Padres to be up by at least 13 runs through two innings was the Cubs, who on August 14, 2009 led 14-0 over the Pirates.
The Padres have won three of four overall, as Aaron Harang (5⅓ IP, 3 ER) has not lost since May 2.
For the Marlins, Ricky Nolasco (1⅓ IP, 9 ER) becomes the first pitcher this season to allow nine or more earned runs in fewer than two innings pitched; it happened four times last season.
Hanley Ramirez hit his tenth home run; he's now hitting .366 over his last 25 games.