After losing three straight, the Dodgers needed to get something going to avoid a sweep before heading to Milwaukee. With Kershaw on the mound, there seemed like no better option to help right the ship. Starting pitching hasn’t been the issue, but sometimes having someone like Kershaw on the mound will get others to step up. A Dodgers shutout against the Reds definitely qualifies.
Kershaw started the first inning by giving up a base hit to Senzel, who quickly stole second base. Stolen bases have been a problem for the Dodger catchers as they’ve struggled to throw runners out. Coming into this game, teams had stolen 29 bases off of the Dodgers and had only been caught stealing five times. With Castellanos at the plate down 0-2, Kershaw threw his slider, striking out Castellanos, and Barnes threw out Senzel at third to end the inning. Something that feels like no big deal, felt like a major win after the way this team has been playing.
Dodgers Strike First
Dodgers didn’t have to wait too long to get the scoring started in this one. Taylor led off the second inning with a walk, then Pollock singled, putting runners on the corners with nobody down. Raley came to the plate and hit into a double play, driving home a run and making it a 1-0 Dodgers lead. They added another run to their lead in the third when Turner hit his team-leading sixth home run of the season. Dodgers went up 2-0, and Kershaw was still dealing.
If you take away his Opening Day start in Colorado, Kershaw has looked like his vintage self on multiple occasions this season. Today was one of those days. He found himself with runners on a couple of times in this one but always found a way to work out of it. Six of his strikeouts came on his signature slider, and he struck out two on the curve. He matched a season-high in strikeouts today and has now struck out six or more batters in his last five starts. This was also his third outing of the year where he gave up zero runs. To say he’s been dominating is an understatement.
Kershaw’s final line today: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 SO.
Things got a bit stressful – as they always seem to do as of late – when the bullpen got involved. Treinen came into pitch and struck out Barnhart for the first out. He hit Naquin and then gave up a base hit to Senzel, putting the tying run on board with one out. At this point, I think every Dodger fan fully expected Treinen to blow the lead. BUT this time we got a different result. Treinen locked in and struck out the Reds hottest hitter in Winker. Then he got Castellanos swinging to end the inning. The bullpen escaped a jam—what a feeling.
Dodgers would get their final at-bats in the bottom half, and did they ever. Lux led off the inning with a flyout, and Turner drew a walk right after. Muncy flew out to center, and the Dodgers had two down. That’s when the fun began. Taylor tripled driving home Turner, giving the Dodgers a much-needed insurance run. Pollock, who was already having a solid day with a hit and a walk, picked up his second hit of the day and an RBI. It was now 4-0 Dodgers, and they weren’t done just yet. Pollock stole second base, so the Reds intentionally walked Raley to face Barnes. Well, he drew a walk as well, loading the bases. Birthday boy Matt Beaty came into pinch-hit and doubled when Winker couldn’t make the diving catch. 6-0 Dodgers lead. But we’re still not done! Mookie joined in on the fun and singled, making it an 8-0 game. Lux came up to the plate again and drew a walk. The Dodgers batted around before Turner flew out to right to end the inning.
Now THAT felt like Dodger Baseball.
Click here, to relive those RBI hits in the eighth.
Hit it Randy (Again)
With an 8-0 lead in the 9th, and the ball would go to Cleavinger. He got Votto to ground out on four pitches and then got Suarez looking for strike three. Moustakas beat the shift and hit a tapper to left field for a one-out base hit. What looked like the final play of the game ended up being overturned when the Reds reviewed the out-call at first. Cleavinger took a comebacker off of his back on that play, and he would come out of the game once the call was overturned. Santana came in with two out and two on to close this one out. He struck out Blandino, and the game was over.
Dodgers Shutout Reds on Getaway Day
The Dodgers pull away with the win, their first since Saturday, and oh boy, did that feel incredible. A shutout against the Reds was even better. Kershaw was fantastic on the mound. The offense came to life with almost everyone in the lineup contributing. The bullpen didn’t blow it when it was close, and the Dodgers can finally get that monkey off their back after dropping three straight. If the offense can get things going, it should only be a matter of time before the bullpen figures it out. This team has way too much talent for this to have lasted much longer. Let’s all hope this is the start of some very good Dodgers Baseball.
Dodgers head to Milwaukee to face the 14-10 Brewers for a four-game series beginning tomorrow night at 4:40 PM PDT.
To read about yesterday’s game, click here.
Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images