Walker Buehler made his long awaited Major League Debut, but the Los Angeles Dodgers dropped a season-high, seventh straight game, 9-1, to the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.
For the 51,492 in attendance, many thought that Thursday would be the day that the Dodgers would finally stop the bleeding as Clayton Kershaw took the mound at Dodger Stadium for the first time since July 23.
Things didn't go according to plan.
Kershaw got assaulted by the Rockies as the first four batter reached base to start the game. With runners on second and third, Nolan Arenado punctuated the inning with a three-run home run to left field.
Arenado was all over a first-pitch fastball from Kershaw that traveled 413 feet, deep into the Dodgers bullpen to give the Rockies an early 3-0 lead.
"I was lucky enough I was able to get a pitch to hit. He missed his spot and I was able to take advantage of the missed spot," said Arenado of his home run. "I think he brings out the best in us because we know we've got to be on our game and ready to go. We know he's going to be."
Kershaw needed 28 pitches to get out of the first inning and was not long in the tooth for this game, as he did not escape the fourth inning.
"When the first three guys get on base and the third guy hits a homer, you're probably not in a good spot," said a visibly frustrated Kershaw after the game. "It happened quickly tonight."
Kershaw (16-3), allowed four runs on six hits, with three walks and seven strikeouts in just 3 and 2/3 innings as the three-time Cy Young Award winner struggled in just his second start since coming off the disabled list.
"I was not great," continued Kershaw. "It was not fun at all."
Entering the game, Kershaw had made 16 consecutive starts without a loss, and overall the Dodgers had won in 13 consecutive decisions with Kershaw on the mound, tied for the second longest in franchise history.
"I was just not very good," a visibly frustrated Kershaw said after the game. "Losing is not fun. I picked a really bad time to have a bad night."
Both of those streaks were snapped by the Rockies.
After Kershaw left the game, the Rockies only piled on from there, scoring three runs in the top of the seventh on a solo home run by Carlos Gonzalez and a pair of bases loaded walks by relief pitcher Josh Ravin.
The Rockies finished the game with nine runs, the most at Dodger Stadium since 2013, and 16 hits, the most hits allowed by the Dodgers this season.
The Dodgers lone run of the game came on a couple of doubles from Cody Bellinger and Yasiel Puig in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Buehler made his much-anticipated MLB debut in the top of the eighth inning and the 2015 first round draft pick for the Dodgers did not disappoint.
"It's a big stadium," joked Buehler of his first thoughts coming out of the bullpen. "I felt pretty calm. I felt less nervous than I was anticipating.
Buehler pitched two innings of scoreless relief, faced the minimum amount of batters, struck out two, and hit 101 MPH on the radar gun.
"It was a pretty cool experience," Buehler said about his debut overall. "I feel like I threw the ball well. Unfortunately, it was in a loss, but it was a special night for me.
The offense has sputtered over the recent losing streak as Los Angeles has scored just 14 runs in their last seven games.
"It's a tough one tonight. There's not a whole lot of positives," said a less than jovial Dave Roberts after the game. "They're grinding. They care. It's not from lack of effort."
The last time Los Angeles lost seven straight games was May 3-10, 2013.
In their last four games at home, the Dodgers have scored a paltry three runs combined in four straight games at Chavez Ravine.
L.A. leads the season series 7-6 against the Rockies and are in danger of losing their second straight seasons series to a division opponent.
German Marquez makes the start for Colorado on Friday opposite RHP Yu Darvish for the Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.