Clayton Kershaw had a mostly complete Dodger lineup, minus Hanley Ramirez, behind him on Friday as the Dodgers completely dominated Colorado in the opening game of the last series of the regular season.
Kershaw pitched six shutout innings in his playoff tune-up, and gave up just three hits while striking out eight. He looked great on his way to his 15th win of the season whlie lowering his league-leading ERA to 1.83.
It was a historic season for Kershaw. He joined Sandy Koufax as the only Dodgers in Los Angeles history to post a 1.88 ERA in a single season.
After letting him down so many times this season, the Dodger bats celebrated his achievement with an 11-run outburst.
They put up four in the first inning as Juan Uribe hit a double with runners on the corners for two runs. A.J. Ellis then singled him in, and then Mark Ellis singled him in with the help of a Colorado throwing error. Uribe and the Ellis's combined to hit 8-13 with seven RBIs and four runs scored, including an A.J. Ellis two-run homer.
Adrian Gonzalez hit a home run in the third inning, his 22nd of the season for his 100th RBI. It was his sixth time in seven seasons with 100 RBIs, and the only time he missed that mark was in 2009 when he had 99.
Other offensive highlights came from Carl Crawford, who went 2-5 with three RBIs, all scoring on a home run in the fourth. It was his home run since May 6, he had gone a whopping 321 at bats without one.
They finished the game with 15 hits and 11 runs scored. Imagine if Kershaw had anywhere near that kind of support all season long. Mattingly addressed this post-game saying, "If we could have got this guy some runs, he might have won 25, 26 games this year."
One of the only questions remaining for the Dodgers is who will make the playoff roster. On Friday they had a little showdown between a handful of candidates who are fighting for one of the last spots out of the bullpen.
Carlos Marmol, Chris Capuano and Brandon League all tossed one scoreless inning in their auditions. Marmol gave up no hits and struck out one, Capuano gave up no hits and struck out two, while League gave up one hit with no strikeouts.
The remaining questions about the playoff roster will be answered soon enough with just two games left in the regular season. The Dodgers finish off against Colorado on Saturday and Sunday with Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu set to take the mound.