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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Clayton Kershaw Pitches First Career Complete Game Shutout

Dodgers  1 1 0
Giants     0 4 1
W-Kershaw (12-10)
L-Zito (8-13)

The Dodgers manage to squeeze out a win in San Francisco off of an almost extinct offense which tallied one base hit by Matt Kemp in the 2nd inning. The lone hit had nothing to do with the run which they scored in the 6th inning off an error by Juan Uribe. The "rally" in the 6th inning began when Reed Johnson was hit in the hand by a pitch from Zito. Clayton Kershaw who was unbelievable tonight (we will get to him in a bit) bunted Johnson to second. Kershaw has 17 sacrifice bunts this season. Zito then pitches around Rafael Furcal, and then walks Ethier to load the bases. Casey Blake hits a ground ball to Uribe who drops it drawing the error and allowing Johnson to score. The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead, and that would turn out to be the only run Kershaw would need to pitch his way to his first career complete game shutout.

It doesn't get sweeter than beating the Giants at home with their fans roaring the annoying "Beat LA" with only 1 hit. Clayton Kershaw was incredible, and pitched 9 innings, allowing 4 hits and striking out 4 and making 111 pitches. His start had been pushed back, and this extra rest seemed to invigorate him a bit. Clayton also now has collected over 200 strikeouts this season, the most by a Dodger lefty since Fernando Valenzuela. He's also within the top three in the league in strikeouts. The Giants' lefty, Barry Zito,went 5.2 innings, allowing 1 run off 1 hit, striking out 5 and walking 3. This was Zito's 9th loss in a row.

While we were watching Clayton's finest game to date, we cannot overlook the fact that the Dodgers' offense was pitiful. Furcal lead off the game with a walk, but Ethier then hit into an inning ending double play. Ethier would also strike out twice in the game. In the second inning Kemp was caught stealing once again after he had the only hit of the night for the Dodgers. Blake lead the way with 3 strikeouts tonight. With this lack of offense, Kershaw's victory seems even more miraculous. The Giants now fall to 1 1/2 games back of San Diego in the NL West after San Diego took the win over Colorado. Chad Billingsley will go up against Matt Cain in game 2 tomorrow. Go Blue:)

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