On Saturday night, the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers faced off in game three of a four game series, with the series tied already. One struggle the Cardinals have had during the season is that strong pitching performances have had a hard time being backed by strong hitting performances.
While obviously the roles can be reversed, and that it hasn’t been the case with every start, Saturday night was another example of having a hard time hitting, but this time, it happened against one of the best pitchers in all of Major League Baseball.
Clayton Kershaw struck out 11 batters, and pitched a one-hitter against the Cardinals in a 2-0 victory at Dodger Stadium.
For St. Louis, Jaime Garcia took the mound to face off against Kershaw.
In the first inning, both Garcia and Kershaw pitched a 1-2-3 inning that included a double play for each. The top of the second inning, after a strikeout by Jhonny Peralta, Randal Grichuk hit a single on a ground ball.
And it ended up being the only hit the Cardinals would get for the rest of the evening.
Meanwhile, on the mound for the Cardinals, Garcia started the bottom of the second with getting Justin Turner to line out. Enrique Hernandez followed with a single, but Garcia got the next two batters out to end the inning.
Both pitchers continued to duke it out on the mound, as the game between the two National League rivals remained scoreless until the bottom of the seventh inning. The bottom half of the inning began with a double by Chris Heisey. The following batter, Yasiel Puig, doubled as well, this time to center field, scoring Heisey and giving the Los Angeles Dodgers a 1-0 lead with no one out.
Justin Turner then singled, and Puig scored, giving the Dodgers a 2-0 lead, and that was all the pitching staff of Los Angeles needed to shut down the bats of St. Louis.
Kershaw yet again pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the eighth, with Tony Cruz pinch hitting for Garcia, as his night was finished. Seth Maness entered the game in the bottom half of the eighth inning in relief of Garcia, and started with Alberto Callaspo singling to center field. A.J. Ellis followed with a sacrifice bunt.
Adrian Gonzalez, pinch hitting for Kershaw, flied out, for the second out of the inning. Randy Choate then entered the game to face lead off hitter Joc Pederson, and was able to get the power-hitting Pederson to ground out, and prevent another run from scoring.
In the top of the ninth inning, Kenley Jansen entered to pitch for Kershaw with the save opportunity. First, pinch hitter Jon Jay stepped up, and popped out. Kolten Wong followed with a pop up as well. Down to their last out, Matt Holliday stepped up to the plate, and was called out on strikes to end the game.
With the loss, Garcia is now 1-3, and St. Louis has only scored in one of his four starts. The Cardinals also drop to 37-19, while the Dodgers improve to 31-24. Kershaw is now 5-3 on the season, and Jansen gets his sixth save of the year.
Sunday night, in the final game of the series, Lance Lynn and Zack Greinke face off.
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)