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Dodgers Recap: Clayton Kershaw and Bats Best Young Gun Chris Paddack

NL West Matchup of Aces Turns into Slug Fest

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 14: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his two run homerun in front of Austin Hedges #18 of the San Diego Padres, for a 4-1 lead, during the third inning at Dodger Stadium on May 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Dodgers got their first look at San Diego Padres’ young ace Chris Paddack on Tuesday night. While the match-up between Clayton Kershaw and Paddack had a lot of press leading up to it, the Dodgers earned a 6-3 victory behind the principals that make them great.

Moreover, the patient and powerful Los Angeles bats handed Paddack his second loss of his young career. Equally important – Clayton Kershaw improved to 3-0 on the season.

Let’s take a look at the details.

The Offense

Kershaw allowed a solo home run to Franmil Reyes in the top of the first inning. From there, Paddack made a silent first trip through the Dodgers’ order. However, things kicked off quickly the second time through.

When Joc Pederson came up with a man aboard, his 100th career home run gave Los Angeles a 2-1 lead they would not again relinquish.

Indeed – that’s Pederson’s 13th home run of 2019 – all while playing primarily against right-handed pitching. The guy is having an incredible season so far for the Dodgers.

Los Angeles wasn’t done scoring in the bottom of the third. Max Muncy drew a walk, and then two batters later Cody Bellinger homered for the 15th time.

This gave the Dodgers a 4-1 lead and some comfort. Still – Cody Bellinger – what can we really say that hasn’t been said? Every night he’s doing something different to help his team win a ballgame.

As we look up, it’s May 15th and he’s hitting .409; which definitely has to make it into this post somehow.

Surely – Manny Machado would get his against Kershaw – hitting a two-run home run that traveled 441 feet to left field in the fourth inning. The 4-3 score would create some interest, but only for a moment.

The Dodgers added insurance runs in the bottom of the fourth and fifth respectively. These runs were scored on a Chris Taylor single and Bellinger groundout.

Notably, Corey Seager added two knocks in this game.

Los Angeles totaled six runs off eight hits. The Padres managed three runs off seven. It seemed like the patience of the Dodgers lineup got to Paddack. While they worked just a single walk off the San Diego starter, several at-bats resulting in big hit were the result of grinding the count. Los Angeles was clearly waiting Paddack out the second time through the lineup onwards in hopes of a mistake. On Tuesday night, he gave them enough to be successful.

Clayton Kershaw and the Pitching

Kershaw went seven innings to earn the quality start in earning his third win. His season ERA now sits at 3.40. Overall, I thought Kershaw was solid. His crux was the home run ball – allowing two big swings to the Padres all night which served as all the damage. As a whole, that’s been the Hallmark of Kershaw in 2019. He allows a big swing or two to the opposition before settling in and competing.

His opposing number Paddack would have done anything to trade stat lines with him on this night. Paddack survived just 4.2 innings on 92 pitches and saw his season ERA climb to 1.99 on the year.

The Dodgers bullpen was a question mark tonight of sorts. It was crucial that Kershaw provide the type of start he answered the curtain with. However, Pedro Baez worked a scoreless eighth inning for his ninth hold of the season.

Then, Kenley Jansen entered in the ninth for 13th save of the year. It’s important to note that in his 18 pitches (a dozen for strikes) he worked his slider usage in. Previously, Jansen has primarily only used a cutter to mixed results. Jansen allowed a hit, but was scoreless in the ninth for a strikeout.

The Dodgers improved to 28-16 on the season, with the Padres falling to 22-20.

Looking Ahead

The Padres will send Matt Strahm to the bump on Wednesday night to oppose Kenta Maeda. Strahm is a good looking left-handed pitcher that could pose a threat to the Dodgers. While another tough test awaits, the Dodgers continue to pass them night-by-night. Now with an 18-6 record in their home park, the Dodgers continue to give their fan base a lot to be excited about as we pass the quarter mark of the regular season.

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

8 Comments

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  1. Here comes a LHP, so expect wholesale lineup changes with Joc sitting, and just annoys me to know end. Recall that doing this L-R-L-R match ups against the elite teams they will see should they reach the PS and or WS WILL NOT WORK OR GET THAT ELUSIVE WS RING, Period.

  2. I just wish Seager was hitting “Seager-like” i.e. before he had his surgeries. I recall he was proficient at LHPs. Turner also needs to be Turner or has he regressed i.e. “changed back to a pumpkin.”

  3. I regret Kershaw will need the offense to “bail-him” out. He gave up two homeruns last night, he gave up some homeruns to the Padres down in San Diego. C’mon Dodgers pitchers, Buehler, Maeda, Hill, you guys Need to step-up! I can’t wait for Ryu next outing, hopefully a good one!

  4. 1. Kershaw has carried his team for a decade; it’s about time the team is scoring some runs for him.

    2. Padres young punk pitcher Paddock got his comeuppance by the master pitcher and person he will never be!

  5. A very nice win last night, and it came against a young pitcher with a bright future. Thankfully, our offense is powerful and we can cover some of Kershaw’s gopher balls. Joc, Belles, Big Red, Verdugo, and Max have been aces for us; if their hitting continues, even Rich Hill might win a game. Go Blue!!!

  6. Paddacks stupid persona and arrogant shit talking with that forced face he makes as he walks in the clubhouse. so glad he got put in his place. Dbag

  7. @Paul – I feel like Bellinger is the best player in the world as of this date 2019. Let the final scroll state it!

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