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Clayton Kershaw silences Reds, Dodgers avoid sweep with 8-0 victory

A series win, but a frustrating finish to the Reds trip to LA.

Cincinnati Reds v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Sonny Gray had not yet looked like Sonny Gray in his pair of starts this year after coming off the injured list. That changed on Wednesday, however, and came against the potent Los Angeles Dodgers on their home turf, too.

Sonny had his 2-seam fastball running all over the place, and that paired with a return of his pinpoint precision on his breaking pitches had the Dodgers whiffing early and often on the day. Gray piled up 11 K in his 5.2 IP, with a solo dinger surrendered and one other run that needed the help of a wild pitch to get in. His 95 pitches were a season high, too, hopefully showing that he’s fully back to the guy who’s been a resident ace of this staff for each of the last two seasons.

Unfortunately for the Cincinnati Reds, it came in a game where Clayton Kershaw was similarly dealing.

Honorable Mentions are due to: Nick Senzel, who had a trio of singles off Kershaw, another off Blake Treinen, and swiped a bag; and Amir Garrett, who had a much needed perfect IP of relief.

Key Plays

  • Walks, as they have done for decades now, will haunt. Such was the case for Sonny Gray and the Reds in the Bottom of the 2nd, when a leadoff walk to Chris Taylor resulted in a Dodgers run after Taylor took 2B on a pitch in the dirt, 3B on a single into LF by AJ Pollock, and scored while the Reds turned a double play. Reds trailed, 1-0.
  • Justin Turner was plucked out of Cal-State Fullerton in the 7th round of the 2006 MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds. He was eventually flipped to Baltimore in exchange for Ramon Hernandez, spending a minute with the New York Mets before eventually turning into a star with the Dodgers. He took Sonny deep in the Bottom of the 3rd, a solo blast into the LF seats that left the Reds trailing 2-0.
  • Runs score when Sal Romano takes the mound. Sal Romano took the mound for the Bottom of the 8th, and runs scored. Reds trailed, 4-0. Then 6-0. Then 8-0, with Sal still on the mound for whatever reason, before David Bell turned to Alex Blandino to mop this mess up. I’d love to hear Bell say outright that every other reliever on the roster was unavailable, since that’s just about the only way any of this would make sense.
  • Almost forgot: Reds lost.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Cincinnati had the heart of the order due up in the Top of the 9th and entered the Bottom of the 8th down just 2-0, with a 9th reliever on the roster, and three off-days between tomorrow and next Thursday...and they just let Sal Romano eat this one? What the hell was that all about?
  • The Reds have an off-day on Thursday as they travel back to Cincinnati. On Friday, they’ll open a three-game weekend series against the Chicago Cubs in GABP, and while the Cubs haven’t yet announced who’ll be doing their starting in Friday’s opener, the Reds will be sending Wade Miley to the mound. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET.
  • Tunes.