Clayton Kershaw wasn't his normal, dominant self as the Dodgers' ace surrendered 5 runs, 3 earned, including 3 home runs, over 5.1 innings. This was doubly troubling as the Dodgers needed him to eat innings after the bullpen was taxed the previous game, picking up for the injured Chris Capuano. Instead of calling up a long man before game, to replace the injured starter, the club opted instead to recall catcher Tim Federowicz.
All told, the relief squad combined for 80 pitches in 3.2 innings, a hefty average and workload for guys who are used to going 10-15 pitches per outing. Paco Rodriguez, J.P. Howell, Ronald Belisario and Kenley Jansen carried the load, with Howell's haul being heaviest at 32 pitches in an inning of work.
The offense provided no support, plating a single run prior to the 9th inning, when the game was out of hand, and stranding 12 runners on base. Skip Schumaker and Matt Kemp both stranded the bases loaded, before Kemp got a reprieve in the 9th, managing a mere sac fly with a 6 run deficit. Kemp, who began the day on the bench, replaced Schumaker in the 7th and finished out the game.
The bright spot of the lineup continues to be Adrian Gonzalez, who reached base safely in all four of his plate appearances and raised his average to .407. The Ellisi, A.J. and Mark, posted 2 hits a piece. The rest of the lineup was 3 for 23. The bottom of the order (6,7,8 and 9) went 1 for 15.
The team now travels to Baltimore tonight/tomorrow morning for a 6 game, east coast road trip beginning with the Orioles. Hyun-Jin Ryu opposes Jason Hammel in the opener on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm eastern.
A tribute to one of baseball's, and America's, most influential figures…