The Dodgers came into tonight’s game minus the services of Jerry Hairston, Jr., who was suspended one game for his role in the bench-clearing brawl last night in San Diego. Dodger Center Fielder Matt Kemp has not been suspended for his role in the incident as of the start of tonight’s game. Carlos Quentin of the Padres was suspended 8 games.
Onto this game.
Clayton Kershaw started for the Dodgers, bringing in 20 consecutive shutout innings dating back to the last game he pitched last season, 16 of which were at the start of this season. The Diamondbacks countered with lefty Patrick Corbin, who came in with a record of 0-1 and an ERA of 3.00.
Kershaw and Corbin engaged in a pretty compelling duel in the early portion of the game. Kershaw’s season-opening scoreless inning streak, however, would be broken in the Bottom of the 4th. Kershaw gave up a leadoff single to Gerardo Parra. Martin Prado followed with a hit-and-run line drive toward short. Justin Sellers broke with the pitch to cover a throw from the catcher with Parra breaking for second, and the line drive shot past the spot where Sellers had been standing prior to his break toward second and went into left field for another single, with Parra taking third. Paul Goldschmidt followed up by grounding into a double play, but the Dodgers conceded the run. Kershaw’s scoreless innings streak ended at 19 2/3 innings.
Corbin would come out after 6 innings, yielding 3 hits and 3 walks with 4 strikeouts, but allowing no runs.
Kershaw would continue to look sharp through the 7th, and walked off the mound after the Bottom of the 7th trailing only 1-0 with 9 strikeouts up around the 100 pitch mark.
Things would come unglued for the Dodgers again in the 8th inning. Kershaw would be unable to get out of the 8th. After getting an out to start the inning, Kershaw gave up a single to Jason Kubel. Kubel’s single was followed by a great bunt by A.J. Pollack that Kershaw could not field in time to record an out, resulting in another hit and suddenly Kershaw had runners on first and second with one out and Gerardo Parra coming to the plate. Kershaw would walk Parra and manager Don Mattingly pulled Kershaw in favor of Shawn Tolleson, who was just called up from AAA Albuquerque to replace the injured Zack Greinke on the roster. Tolleson would walk the next two batters he faced, giving the Diamondbacks a 3-0 advantage with both runs charged to Kershaw. Tolleson would be replaced by J.P. Howell, who struck out Miguel Montero and Alfredo Marte to end the inning.
Kershaw’s final line on the night: 7 1/3 innings, 3 ER allowed, 6 hits, 3 walks, and 9 strikeouts.
The Dodgers continued to disappoint on offense. On the night the Dodgers left 10 runners on base and were a collective 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position. As if to add insult to injury, Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz allowed a Nick Punto single and a walk to Skup Schumaker with one out in the Top of the 9th, lending small hope that the Dodgers might have one final shot at a rally to get back in the game. Putz promptly induced a double play ball off the bat of Hairston to pick up the save.
Patrick Corbin picks up the win for the Diamondbacks, improving his record to 1-1. Clayton Kershaw is your hard-luck loser tonight, his record falling to 2-1. J.J. Putz picks up the save, his 2nd of the season.
The Dodgers and Diamondbacks will pick up Game 2 of the series tomorrow night at Chase Field, a 5:10 p.m. start time. The Dodgers will send Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-1, 2.13 ERA) to the mound to face the Diamondbacks’ Ian Kennedy (1-0, 4.15 ERA).
Crawford Takes A Seat
Carl Crawford was given the night off from the Starting Lineup after playing all 9 innings last night in San Diego. Crawford did get a pinch hitting appearance in the 8th inning. Ironically, the batter he hit for was Juan Uribe, who hit a pinch hit homer last night in the 8th inning to put the Dodgers ahead 3-2. This time, Crawford struck out on a pitch in the dirt. Crawford did stay in the game in left field after his at-bat, and starting Left Fielder Jerry Hairston, Jr. moved over to 3rd base in place of Uribe to finish the game.
Crawford is 0-for-2 this season as a pinch hitter and appears to be much more comfortable at the plate when he starts the game in the lineup.
As previously mentioned, Jerry Hairston, Jr. started in Left Field in place of Carl Crawford tonight. Hairston has been suspended 1 game by the league for his role in Thursday night’s brawl in San Diego. Hairston has appealed his suspension. Unless he drops his appeal and serves his suspension, Hairston will have a hearing on the Dodgers’ next road trip when they travel to New York to face the Mets.