LOS ANGELES — The Cardinals entered into Saturday’s video game with a .321 batting average versus left-handed pitchers, the very best mark in the Majors. Even throughout an underachieving start, the Cardinals have actually delighted in southpaws.
But Clayton Kershaw isn’t simply any other left-hander. He will likely discover his method into the Hall of Fame when qualified following his retirement. His No. 22 jersey will hang at Dodger Stadium quickly after that.
Kershaw revealed that as soon as again on Saturday, setting out 9 and tossing 7 scoreless innings in the Dodgers’ 1-0 win over the Cardinals at Dodger Stadium.
“I’ve said it before this year, but tonight was his best night, as far as stuff, from start to finish,” stated Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts. “Just the way he tunneled tonight was exceptional. And that’s as good of a team you’re going to see versus [left-handers], and the way he dominated those guys was pretty impressive.”
From the start, it was apparent Kershaw had his finest things. He retired the very first 13 batters he dealt with, setting out 5. For a while, it appeared Kershaw was on his method to another deep perfect-game quote, something he flirted with two times last season.
That quote concerned an end in the 5th inning after Dylan Carlson’s one-out single, however that was simply one of 2 hits the Cardinals had the ability to leave Kershaw through 7 dominant innings.
“The fastball command was better and then my slider, especially the first four innings, was really good,” Kershaw stated. “It’s a tough lineup. [Paul] Goldschmidt and [Nolan] Arenado are two of the toughest at-bats that I have in the game.”
Kershaw’s four-seam fastball had a little additional speed early in the video game, typically touching 92-93 miles per hour. His signature curveball was sharp for a 3rd successive start, and Kershaw’s wipeout slider kept the St. Louis offense off-balance all night. Kershaw got 11 swings and misses on the slider, a season high.
“That was the best I’ve seen his slider in a long time,” stated catcher Austin Barnes, who has actually captured the majority of Kershaw’s starts over the previous couple of seasons. “I thought he had a good plan, was attacking those guys, doing what he does. When he gets ahead, he’s really good.”
Kershaw’s trip concerned an end after 7 innings and simply 88 pitches. The left-hander stated he might’ve kept entering into the 8th inning. After all, 68 of his 88 pitches were for strikes and Kershaw had actually retired 6 of the last 7 batters he had actually dealt with.
But Roberts stated the group will continue to bear in mind his work and felt highly about choosing Evan Phillips and Brusdar Graterol versus a right-handed-heavy lineup. Phillips left some difficulty in the 8th and Graterol taped the conserve in the ninth.
“The stuff started to tick down a little bit,” Roberts stated. “The last few starts we’ve ridden him. There’s a long way to go. Regardless of the outcome, it was the right decision.”
The Dodgers have actually definitely been asking Kershaw to be the personnel ace early in the season and the left-hander has actually provided time and time once again. With the win, Kershaw enhanced to 5-1 and his 1.89 period is the 8th most affordable in the Majors. His 0.76 WHIP is connected with Jacob deGrom for the 2nd most affordable.
But most notably, Kershaw leads the National League with 38 innings pitched, and pilling up innings is something he takes pride in doing every 5th day. And in order for the Dodgers to achieve their objectives this season, Kershaw will need to keep publishing strong numbers. Even at age 35, there’s no factor to question that the three-time Cy Young Award winner will do simply that.
“Kershaw did a really nice job,” stated Cardinals supervisor Oliver Marmol. “Obviously, he’s done a nice job for a long time, and he was on his game. Located the fastball, the slider was on, landed some curveballs, kept us off-balance. He did a really nice job.”