Nine different times this year, Clayton Kershaw had gone out and allowed two earned runs or fewer — an effective outing no matter how you define it — and not come away with a win, because wins for pitchers are meaningless and infinitely stupid. That’s beyond beating a dead horse at this point, of course, yet it’s still important to note.
Today, Kershaw had his worst start of the season, allowing five earned runs. He came away with the victory, since the Dodger offense managed to put up eight runs against Chad Bettis and Jeff Manship. You can probably make the argument that he “deserved it” after the amount of times his teammates have let him down; me, I prefer to just take advantage of yet another opportunity to point how unbelievably useless wins are for pitchers.
But of course, we’re not going to be talking about a rare Kershaw outing tomorrow, because it’s still 2013 and that means it’s ALL YASIEL PUIG ALL THE TIME. Puig left in the sixth inning with what appeared to be a knee injury, though I’ll of course point out that Coors Field is a haunted house directly from the seventh layer of Hades and ought to be locked up for everyone’s safety.
Puig beat out an infield single — sort of, because the ball clearly beat him, but first baseman Jordan Pacheco was ruled off the bag, which was questionable — then appeared to awkwardly stretch back on a pickoff attempt. Adrian Gonzalez singled to right, and though Puig easily made it to third, he stayed down for nearly a minute, as you can see above. Puig stayed in to score on Hanley Ramirez‘ sacrifice fly, but did not come out to right field in the bottom of the inning. The Dodgers later announced it to be a “mild right knee strain”.
So while we wait for further word on Puig, which sounds like a broken record at this point, we should take the time to celebrate Andre Ethier, who homered after the Ramirez sacrifice and doubled twice, becoming the first Dodger in history with seven consecutive seasons of 30 doubles. Since bottoming out at .229/.316/.348 on June 8, Ethier has hit .312/.394/.466, numbers which are sure to improve once today is included.
As I mentioned, Kershaw got the win, but even still the bullpen did their best to give it back. Ronald Belisario allowed four hits and two runs in his one inning of work, then Kenley Jansen (who looked to be having an issue with his cutter as he worked for the third day in a row) gave up a solo homer to Wilin Rosario, then put the tying run on base for Charlie Blackmon. I point that out because for whatever reason the Rockies chose to have Troy Tulowitzki waiting as the pinch-hitter on deck, rather than actually bring him into the game. Blackmon failed to reach, and game was over.
Michael Young made his debut as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning, striking out on three pitches but being a great clubhouse guy while doing it. Down in the minors, Matt Kemp extended his hitless rehab streak to 0-18, which is just unfathomable.
Arizona lost to Toronto earlier, so the Dodger lead is 12.5 games, and the division race is so over that it’s barely even worth talking about the margin any longer. Still fun though, isn’t it?