Following Rehab Stint In Chattanooga, Clayton Kershaw Has Stellar Outing

Kershaw Throws Seven Scoreless Innings Against Washington

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Clayton Kershaw pitching for the Lookouts on April 30.
Clayton Kershaw pitching for the Lookouts on April 30.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

WASHINGTON -- Clayton Kershaw, who last pitched in Chattanooga for the Lookouts on a rehab assignment, returned from the disabled list on Tuesday night, and the Dodgers were thrilled to get him back. The Nationals, on the other hand, probably weren't exactly overjoyed to see the left-hander.

600000381469727px;">The Braves 2-1 win over St. Louis Tuesday, and the Nationals' lost to Los Angeles moved Atlanta back atop the NL East. The Braves lead Miami and Washington by a 1/2 game.

Kershaw looked a lot like his old self in his first start since March 22. A muscle strain had put the Cy Young winner on the disabled list after that first start, but he tossed seven shutout innings on Tuesday night, while teammatesDrew Butera and Hanley Ramirez each homered as the Dodgers defeated Washington, 8-3, at Nationals Park.

The last time Kershaw pitched in a Major League game was on Opening Day in Australia. But despite not having pitched since then, Kershaw (2-0) looked strong. He scattered nine singles with nine strikeouts and no walks as the Dodgers ended a two-game losing skid.

Kershaw's control and command kept the Nationals (18-15) quiet. The left-hander threw 89 pitches, 68 of which were strikes. Also, his variety of pitches, all of which he could throw for strikes, kept the Nationals off balance and eventually left them shaking their heads as Kershaw stayed ahead in the count time and time again.

The Dodgers (19-15) needed all of Kershaw's skill early on, as Nationals starter Blake Treinen matched him pitch for pitch through five innings. In fact, the game remained scoreless until Los Angeles took the lead in the sixth, thanks to a bit of small ball, some Washington fielding issues and good hustle from Kershaw.

Kershaw led off and reached when Treinen (0-1) booted his grounder. The Dodgers pitcher ran hard down the line when he saw Treinen misplay the ball, and that effort helped Kershaw beat the rushed throw and set up a big three-run inning.

Former Lookout Dee Gordon then hit a grounder to Adam LaRoche, and the first baseman appeared to have trouble getting the ball out of his mitt. That delay allowed Gordon to beat LaRoche's toss to Treinen for an infield single. Carl Crawford loaded the bases with his infield single on a roller halfway up the first-base line.

Ramirez then lined a single to right that brought in Kershaw for a 1-0 lead and ended Treinen's first Major League start. Andre Ethier drove in a second run when he grounded into a forceout at second off reliever Craig Stammen. Juan Uribe followed with a broken-bat RBI single to short left that gave the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.

Washington got three straight singles in the sixth, but Kershaw bounced back to retire the next three batters and avoid trouble. The Nationals then gave the Dodgers some help again in the seventh. Gordon lined a two-out triple to right and would have scored if Stammen hadn't alertly backed up third base to catch a very high relay throw.

But Gordon did score when Crawford followed with a routine fly to left that Scott Hairston dropped. Ramirez then greeted Ross Detwiler with a homer to straightaway center on the first pitch of the eighth to give the Dodgers a 5-0 lead.

Butera added his three-run blast later in the inning off Detwiler to put the Dodgers up 8-0. The catcher deserved a break after he had fouled off a ball that bounced back and hit him in the face the previous inning. Moments later, Butera was hit by a pitch. He thought the home run was more enjoyable.

The Nationals touched up reliever Chris Perez for three runs in the eighth. Manager Don Mattingly needed to bring on Jamey Wright with the bases loaded and two outs to retire Denard Span to end the threat.

That ended any chance the Nationals had of rallying again and locked up the Los Angeles victory.

In the end, the main topic of discussion in the Dodgers clubhouse wasn't just how effective Kershaw was in his first game back -- but just that he was back and how happy that made the whole team.

---- Source: MLB.com


Randy Smith: Is Whale Watching A Sport?

My wife Shelia and I spent practically the entire month of July on the road; literally. First, the annual Smith family trek to Ponce Inlet, Florida, then a few days after returning from the beach we flew to the other side of the country to board a cruise ship to Alaska. This was my first visit to the "Land of the  Midnight  Sun" and boy was I ever glad I went. While ... (click for more)

Wolcott Leading Choo Choo Golf

Dickson's Ben Wolcott shot 64 Tuesday and took the second-round lead in the Chattanooga Choo Choo Invitational at the Council Fire Golf Club. Wolcott, who plays at Ole Miss, shot 67 on Monday and holds a five-shot lead over Wes Gosselin and Michael Nagy. The tournament ends Wednesday. Results:   Ben Wolcott ... (click for more)

Beck Upset By Criticism Of Late WWTA Director Cleveland Grimes In WWTA Analysis; Boyd Won't Rewrite 57-Page Report

County Commissioner Greg Beck said it was inappropriate for fellow Commissioner Tim Boyd to include articles critical of the late Cleveland Grimes in a 57-page report on the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority. He said, "Criticizing a dead man - I don't know if that's appropriate. If that's Christianity, let me off the wagon." Saying the report should ... (click for more)

Investor In Scheme Says Dyer Made Contacts At Quarterback Club

One of the investors who was a loser in an investment scheme recently halted by the Securities and Exchange Commission said one of the Chattanooga brokers involved made many of his contacts through the Chattanooga Quarterback Club. Paul Smith, former Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman, said Doug Dyer has been the president for many years of the club that promotes UTC and ... (click for more)

Expand Broadband Internet, Not The Size Of Government

I’d like to respond to two letters in your July 13 edition that praised Rep. Mike Carter’s efforts to expand statewide broadband access. Rep. Carter wants more government involvement in the broadband sector, including an expansion of taxpayer-funded, municipal broadband networks.  Rep. Carter’s supporters argued he’s standing up for consumers against huge telecommunications ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Horses Vs. DesJarlais

It is well-known that shortly after the despicable “Big Lick” faction of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry put on a very-pointed fundraiser for the equally repugnant Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-Jasper) two years ago, the misguided doctor has repeatedly tried to bully and strong-arm the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the behalf of the vermin who sadistically torture the ... (click for more)