- Clayton Kershaw‘s eight strikeouts pushed him to an NL-leading 207 (16 ahead of Cliff Lee), and makes him the first Dodger with back-to-back seasons of 200+ strikeouts since Chan Ho Park did it back in 2000-01.
- Of Kershaw’s 27 starts this year, this was the 10th time in which he did not allow a run, and he’s allowed just one earned run in his last 24 innings.
- According to the KCAL broadcast, Kershaw’s eighth start in which he struck out at least eight and gave up zero earned runs makes him just the second Los Angeles Dodger to do so, joining Sandy Koufax in 1965. If he does it again for nine, that’ll make him just the third player on any team to do so since WW2.
- Per Eric Collins on the KCAL broadcast, this was the seventh time the Dodgers have scored at least ten runs this year… and all seven have come on the road.
- Rod Barajas‘ two-homer game was the eleventh of his career and the first for a Dodger catcher since Russell Martin did so over three years ago. His three extra-base hits tied a career high.
- Aaron Miles‘ ninth-inning homer was not only a bomb that was hit off of Cardinal second baseman Skip Schumaker, of all people, it was his first homer as a lefty in nearly three years.
- The last time the Dodgers scored more than 13 runs against the Cardinals, they were putting up 14 behind John Wetteland in 1990.
- Tonight’s victory ties up the all-time Dodger/Cardinal series at 1,001 – 1,001.
Now that that’s out of the way… this one got out of hand in a hurry, because St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse had absolutely nothing to offer. Justin Sellers led off the game with a single, followed by a James Loney walk, and then Lohse served up such a meatball to Matt Kemp that I’m still not sure it’s landed, good for a 3-0 lead and Kemp’s 29th homer of the year. The second inning went no better; after getting two outs around a Jamey Carroll single, Lohse allowed four consecutive hits, with Sellers, Loney, and Juan Rivera all plating runners to make it 7-0. Barajas added to the scoring by crushing homers in both the fifth and seventh innings, and then Miles crushed Schumacher’s offering to the right field seats, thus winning the prize for “sentences I never thought I’d type.” (To be fair, Schumaker did strike out both Trent Oeltjen and Hawksworth in his one inning of garbage time.) Hawksworth nearly picked up the ridiculous three-inning save, but couldn’t quite get out of the ninth before being relieved by Hong-Chih Kuo.
Barajas has now homered four times on the current road trip, proving two indisputable facts:
1) Rod Barajas hates playing in Dodger Stadium. For a guy about whom so much has been written regarding his love for playing for the hometown Dodgers, his home/road splits are ridiculous. At home this year, he’s hitting just .174/.268/.257 with two homers; entering the night, he was hitting .279/.296/.550 with ten homers on the road, and that doesn’t even include tonight’s heroics.
2) Rod Barajas loves late August. In June and July of 2010, Barajas had OPS marks of .474 and .430, respectively, which was good enough to get the Mets to dump him on waivers. After joining the Dodgers a year ago yesterday, he had a 1.249 OPS and three homers in seven August games. This year, Barajas’ monthly OPS were relatively poor each month from April to July, checking in at .643, .664, .624, and .524. After tonight’s game? .333/.389/.667 in August 2011. Let’s enjoy the next week and then knock it off before he plays himself into a $4m contract for 2012.
When Dioner Navarro was designated for assignment earlier today, it seemed certain that there was more to the story. Why, after putting up with his ineptitude all season long, would they cut him just a week ahead of expanded rosters, particularly with Rod Barajas just barely off an injury? It simply didn’t make sense from a roster management perspective, so it had to be something else.
As we found out tonight, it was: KABC’s Joe Block tweeted that Don Mattingly claimed Navarro was let go because “of philosophical differences.” Steve Lyons took it further on the television broadcast, saying that Navarro had not “been hustling or prepared”, and referenced his “strange pitch calls” during Nathan Eovaldi‘s start last week and the game in Colorado last weekend. If even half of that is true in addition to his lousy on-field play, good riddance.
Speaking of Lyons, something he said in the 4th inning led to one of my favorite near-simultaneous Twitter moments of all time.
Jon Weisman, Dodger Thoughts:
Steve Lyons believes that Stan Musial’s impending mortality “puts more pressure” on the Cardinals to re-sign Albert Pujols.
Eric Stephen, TrueBlueLA:
I think Steve Lyons just said the Cards need to re-sign Pujols because Stan Musial will die soon
I’m pretty sure Lyons just said the Cards need to sign Albert Pujols because Stan Musial is going to die soon.
You stay classy, Steve.