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Kershaw Ks 8; Dodgers win, 2-1

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Clayton Kershaw was sharp, and the Dodgers handed Homer Bailey yet another hard-luck loss.

Harry How
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

I know it's customary to give this award to a Red, but I'm not a stickler for unwritten rules, so I'm giving it to Clayton Kershaw. If you watched much of the game, then you'll likely have a hard time arguing the selection. The big southpaw went eight innings, striking out eight, walking none, and surrendering only one run on six hits. He appeared to lose control of the strike zone for a fleeting moment in the seventh inning, but regained it in time to strike out Todd Frazier and induce a grounder from Zack Cozart in a big spot. Kershaw's in the discussion for the best starter in baseball and almost certainly the consensus pick for the preeminent left-hander in the game. After tonight's start, he's sporting a cool 1.96 ERA and 2.50 FIP on the season.

Honorable mentions are due to Hanley Ramirez (game-winning home run), Kenley Jansen (shut down the heart of the Reds order in the ninth), and Homer Bailey (allowed only two runs in seven innings).

Key Plays

  • Adrian Gonzalez started off the bottom of the sixth with a line drive single to right field. Hanley Ramirez was up next, and he drove one into the seats in left field. Dodgers led, 2-0.
  • In the top of the seventh, Brandon Phillips smacked a double to right to put some pressure on Clayton Kershaw. Jay Bruce singled to drive in Phillips. Kershaw threw a wild pitch that allowed Bruce to advance to second, but the Dodgers' ace settled down and finished the inning without any further damage. Dodgers led, 2-1.
  • Kershaw gave way to closer Kenley Jansen in the bottom of the ninth. The Reds sent up Joey Votto, Phillips, and Bruce, but Jansen was sharp and retired the side in order. Dodgers won, 2-1.

FanGraph That Does Not Accurately Model the Quality of This Particular Ballgame

<iframe src="" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width = "450" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="">FanGraphs</a></span>

Other Notes

  • Tonight was one of the more exciting games of the year, in my opinion. It was a great pitcher's duel with a brisk pace and big names. The game was about as fun as a Reds loss can be.
  • The Pirates and Cardinals both lost tonight, so the Reds didn't lose any ground in the division race.
  • The Reds and Dodgers play tomorrow night at 9:10 pm EDT. It looks to be another good pitching matchup with the always crafty Bronson Arroyo taking the hill for the Reds, and rookie standout Hyun-Jin Ryu starting for Los Angeles.
  • There's only one game still going at this point -- the Twins and Mariners are locked in a one-one tie in the 13th inning in Seattle.
  • The Reds are in southern California, so this song feels appropriate.
  • jch24 mentioned Alice Cooper in the game thread, and that's all the motivation I need to link to this.