Matt Kemp & Andre Ethier Continue to Be a Two-Man Show as Dodgers Top Astros

I don’t want to shock you, but the Dodgers scored three runs tonight, and every one of them was thanks to Matt Kemp & Andre Ethier. I know, I can hardly believe it either, because that is a scenario which never happens, ever.

Honestly, it’s only April 20, and I feel like I’m already running out of things to say about Kemp. Oh, an opposite-field homer in his first at-bat, his 8th dinger of the year? Oh, getting on base in each of his four at-bats, with three hits and a walk? Oh, a line that’s still sitting at .481/.525/1.000? I’d like to share with you his position on the National League leaderboards – it’s Triple Crown city, in case you didn’t know – but it hardly seems fair, because that would imply that Kemp is actually playing in the same league as the rest of the mere mortals out there.

Fortunately for the Dodgers, they were playing the punchless Astros and so the three runs were all they’d need, as Ted Lilly was somewhat all over the place in walking six in six one-run innings. Against most teams, that’d be a huge problem, but this Houston outfield would struggle to compete in the Pacific Coast League. The six walks tied for second-most in Lilly’s career and marked the first time since April 8, 2006 against the Devil Rays as a member of the Blue Jays that he’d issued so many free passes. (He lasted 2.1 innings that time around.)

Lilly was followed by a scoreless inning apiece from Josh Lindblom, Kenley Jansen, & Javy Guerra, and if there’s a more dominating 26-and-under bullpen trio in the bigs than that, I’d like to see it. Jansen in particular overwhelmed Houston in striking out the side, which gives him 17 Ks among the 38 hitters he faced. I still can’t believe that there was a time where we all worried that Lindblom was going to get farmed out; Guerra, meanwhile, bounced back from a tough series in Milwaukee to collect his seventh save. But speaking of young relievers, where exactly is Scott Elbert? He hasn’t been seen in a week now since he threw 17 pitches last Friday against San Diego; all told, he’s thrown just 19 pitches since April 8.

Clayton Kershaw takes the mound tomorrow at 4:05pm in the second game of the series against Kyle Weiland, acquired from the Red Sox along with Jed Lowrie in the Mark Melancon deal.

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