Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher in the National League. That's something that has been established time and time again, but it is still fantastic to watch him pitch in his every start. On Thursday, Kershaw continued his dominance with an eight-inning shutout performance in the Dodgers 6-0 win over the Marlins.
Kershaw gave up five hits and three walks with six strikeouts on 103 pitches, lowering his ERA to a minuscule 1.72 on the way to his 13th win of the season. In each of the first three innings he allowed a base runner to reach second base, but that was about all the trouble he had the entire game.
From the fourth to the eighth, no Marlins made it to second base, and three of the four hitters that did get on base at all were erased on double play balls.
With Kershaw being Kershaw, and Zack Greinke's recent dominance, the top of the Dodgers rotation is the best in the league. In their last three starts combined, they have given up 26 hits, 11 walks, with 39 strikeouts and just two earned runs in 45.2 innings. Nobody is going to top that.
With the bats, the Dodgers scored six runs on eight hits and five walks, driving Miami's starting pitcher out of the game by the fifth inning. They scored three runs in the fourth inning, starting with a bases-loaded RBI single off the bat of Kershaw, his third-straight game with an RBI. Kershaw simply does it all. In his last three starts he has given up one earned run in 24 innings pitches, and has driven in four RBI's.
After his RBI single, Carl Crawford doubled in two more runs to put the score at 3-0. The scoring continued in the fifth with a two-out rally. Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis hit back-to-back doubles, and Skip Schumaker hit an RBI single that finished Henderson Alvarez's outing at five innings pitched, with seven hits, two walks and five earned runs.
The Dodgers added on one more in the seventh, with Adrian Gonzalez scoring on a Yasiel Puig sacrifice fly for the final score of 6-0.
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Brian Wilson made his Dodger debut in the ninth inning. He struck out two batters and gave up a double down the right field line that barely stayed fair. He worked quickly with his 19 pitches, and appeared confident and ready to be pitching again in the Majors. The opportunities that Wilson brings in the bullpen are exciting, but this is just one outing in a non-pressure situation. It will be interesting to see how the Dodgers use him next time.
The Dodgers took three of four games in Miami and are currently riding a three-game winning streak as they return home to face the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox.
Tweets From #Dodgers Nation
Clayton Kershaw dominated the Marlins, and blew up Twitter too.
And so did Brian Wilson, because, beard.
But some actually recognized that he had a good relief appearance. Let's hope that with time it's less about is beard, and more about his pitching.