Dodgers 8, Rays 2: Kershaw Does It All As Dodgers Sweep

kershaw_2013-08-11The Tampa Bay Rays are an outstanding team, a club that has played very well over the last month and would be a playoff team if the season ended today. They are a team that is anything but a pushover… and they just got swept out of town by a Dodger team that moved to 7.5 games up in the division, 37-8 in their last 45, and apparently can’t be stopped by anyone or anything, .

That especially goes for Clayton Kershaw, who is pushing the “hey, maybe he should be MVP talk” from fun barroom discussion to no, really, maybe he should be MVP.

Take, for example, the bottom of the second inning. After Kershaw breezed through the first two frames, Andre Ethier & A.J. Ellis each singled off Jeremy Hellickson to lead off the inning. Juan Uribe came up with no one on… and bunted, inexplicably. For a hit? To sacrifice ahead of Dee Gordon and Kershaw? I have no idea what was going through his head, including whether it was his idea or if it came from the bench, but it was ludicrous. (Update: Mattingly said Uribe did so on his own. Phew.)

Dee Gordon struck out for the second out — more on him in a second, obviously — and up stepped Kershaw, as we all prepared our “how to turn two on, none out into zero runs in three easy steps” jokes. Kershaw, perhaps mindful of how little support his team has given him lately, took matters into his own hands with a smashed single through the right side, plating two. Carl Crawford singled through Ryan Roberts, then Kershaw came around when Mark Ellis doubled to deep left (one of his three hits, including a homer), and that was more than the mighty Kershaw would need. (He would score again in the fourth after reaching on a failed fielder’s choice, then coming around on an Adrian Gonzalez double.)

Of course, Kershaw gets paid for what he does on the mound, and he was once again magnificent in allowing just three hits and two runs (one earned) over eight. Kershaw didn’t even allow a hit until the fifth, and had his defense not failed him with four errors behind him, he might well have completed it himself. Each of the first two Rays to reach via error were immediately erased via double play, and he managed to drop his already spectacular ERA to 1.88. Pay this man all of the money, please.

This all came despite Gordon having what is probably the most Dee Gordon game ever. Gordon made what was an admittedly nice defensive play in the early innings, then struck out in that big spot in the second. He then used his outstanding speed to get on via a bunt in the fourth and an infield single in the seventh, around another whiff in the fifth. But he also made an error in the third… and another in the sixth… and another in the eighth. It was an embarrassing night for him, and frankly I’ll be surprised if Nick Punto doesn’t start every game until Hanley Ramirez is ready.

Really, this felt like a playoff game early on. Sure, the fact that a rarely-seen quality American League club was in town played into that sense of excitement somewhat, as did the national ESPN broadcast in front of a sellout crowd with Kershaw on the mound. But it also feels like that because this team is not only well on their way to October, they’re primed to make some serious noise there. As long as there’s Kershaw, there’s hope.

417 comments
Nineteen84
Nineteen84

I used almost the same exact language with my buddy ("Gordon having the most Dee Gordon game ever") when they mentioned he had an infield single, bunt hit, 2 Ks and 2 errors....

That was before his last error

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

i sure hope our guys play the so-called bad teams as well as they have the supposedly good ones. 

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Kershaw is now leading the national league in bWAR with 6.5. He's 0.1 behind Miguel Cabrera, who leads the majors.

fWAR doesn't like him quite as much.

Chavez Ravine Fiend
Chavez Ravine Fiend

Crawford quietly having a very productive year. Glad to see it too, always good to see somebody like him (who doesn't seem like an asshole or prick) prove all the haters wrong.

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

Tonight was a lot of fun. I watched the awesome Dodger game, Dexter, Ray Donovan, and Breaking Bad. Now for some House of Cards

DodgersFan
DodgersFan

@DBrim We've been over this before. He outpitches his FIP consistently and his true talent probably lies somewhere between the two WARs. And if you follow the MGL school of thought than fWAR is a predictor. 

DBrim
DBrim moderator

@Chavez Ravine Fiend It's interesting that fangraphs and bb-ref disagree so much on his value. Fangraphs has him at 2.5 WAR and bb-ref has him at 1.4.

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

@hose1002 I'm trimming mine WAY before I need hair accessories in my beard 

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

Do you want to know the terrifying truth? Or do you want to see some DINGERS!!!!

DBrim
DBrim moderator

I have "A-rod" and "Alex Rodriguez" muted on twitter and my timeline is much better for it.

DBrim
DBrim moderator

I wasn't trying to state an opinion, just stating where the numbers are right now. You're reading between the lines too much!

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

@Cochito Commish @LA_Woman Because (1) I needed RP after getting rid of Mujica (I sure do miss him; hopefully I won't so much after a Sale start), and (2) because my regular catcher came off the DL, which means I now can compete with Deuces with my THREE catchers!!!

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

@DBrim yeah, but then again I feel like he's had more lousy plays than you'd expect. 

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Yeah, bb-ref has him slightly negative, Fangraphs is pretty positive. I'd be more inclined to believe Fangraphs based on his prior career.

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

@LA_Woman Whoooooaaaaa! I think not. My buddy wore stickers on his hat and I gave him such shit. I'm a traditionalist that may have a few beers now and then and make rash decisions. So far, I have no regrets

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

@DeucesWild @LA_Woman Yeah, next picture we see, you'll be wearing your hat with the brim pointing sideways. Or straight up.

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

@LA_Woman I did a blue spray in my hair when I decided to do a mohawk. I still have those pics that were taken at DS lol. No more than a day or two of color for me

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

@LA_Woman Not a chance! I like the auburn color and I'm years away from gray (not that I'll even dye then)

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

@Cochito Commish @LA_Woman  SHhhhh... don't tell Eephus, but he forgot to take CC off the DL last week. I hope he leaves him there this week since I play his team.

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

@LA_Woman Exactly my feeling. It doesn't have any effect on the game. It looks stupid, but other than that, who cares