May 14, 2013

The Dodgers welcomed the Washington Nationals for a three-game series at Chavez Ravine in May. The Dodgers dropped the first game of the series and looked to ace Clayton Kershaw to rebound and even up the series. The Nationals were widely thought of as a threat in the National League and the Dodgers wanted to prove they could hang.

Kershaw faced off against Nationals starter Dan Haren in what would become a pitchers’ duel. The game was scoreless until the third inning when Dodger outfielder Andre Ethier came up with Kershaw on third and fellow outfielder Matt Kemp on second. Ethier would deliver a two-run single to center field to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.

That would become all the offense that Kershaw would need as he continued to put up zeroes against the Nationals offense. Haren would also recover after the third inning to finish the day with seven innings and two runs allowed; however, the story of the night became Kershaw as he would reach 1,000 career innings during the game. The left-hander became the pitcher with the third-lowest ERA of any pitcher with at least 1,000 innings pitched at 2.70.

Kershaw went into the ninth inning looking for the complete game shutout. The 25-year-old was over 120 pitches in the ninth inning, but recorded the first two outs and Dodger manager Don Mattingly let his ace continue to pitch. Nationals’ first baseman Adam LaRoche hit a two-out single off of Kershaw’s 132nd pitch of the night, prompting Mattingly to go to the bullpen. Reliever Kenley Jansen was brought in to finish the game and he struck out Tyler Moore to end the game.

Jansen was selected to come in just one day after Mattingly had given closer Brandon League a vote of confidence in his position. The win would improve the Dodgers’ record to 16-22 and leave them 6.5 games back in the division.

See Highlights Of Kershaw’s Performance Here:

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