Game Recap: Joc Walks It Off, Kershaw and Puig Return on Jackie Robinson Day

The Dodgers opened up a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds on a day jam-packed with drama, celebration, and returns.

The club sent the returning Clayton Kershaw to the mound against budding ace Luis Castillo.

Old Friends

Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood, and Kyle Farmer also made their returns to Dodger Stadium for the first time since being shipped to Cincinnati.

Kemp, Wood, and Farmer were presented with their National League Championship rings by some members of the Dodgers front office. Puig was fashionably late to the stadium and missed the meeting. And start of his own press conference.

Puig had a wild ride of a day.

We All Wear 42

It was also a big day around the game of baseball with today being Jackie Robinson Day and everyone donning the beloved 42.

Vin Scully and Rachel Robinson

Vin Scully even made an appearance and was greeted by the lovely Rachel Robinson.

Joc Pederson Clutches Up

The game got off to a banging start with Yasiel Puig tagging Clayton Kershaw for a two-run bomb in the first inning.

The Dodgers came up with a run of their own in the bottom half of the first inning off a Cody Bellinger ground-rule double.

Nothing really got going until the bottom of the fifth inning, where AJ Pollock walked with the bases loaded to tie the game.

The ninth inning represented a stunner, with another former Dodger punishing his former team. Matt Kemp delivered a single off Kenley Jansen to put the Reds up in the ninth.

In the bottom half of the ninth inning, fireworks flew. Raisel Iglesias walked David Freese to bring the winning run to the plate in the form of Joc Pederson, who crushed a two-run walk-off bomb!

Return of the Ace

Outside of the scoring, Clayton Kershaw looked great. He tossed seven innings, allowing five hits and two runs off the Puig homer. He struck out six. Good start to the season for the ace lefty. The velocity was down a little bit from last year which is concerning, but it is just one start. His usage patterns also changed in the game, using his fastball 8.7% less, slider 4% more, and curveball 5% more than last season’s average. His fastball velocity sat at 90.0 mph for the night, compared to 90.9 mph in 2018 and 92.7 mph in 2017. We are looking at a new Kersh.

Cody Bellinger Update

A scary moment also occurred in the third inning where Cody Bellinger was plunked on the kneecap with a 95 mph Luis Castillo fastball. He stayed in the game but was replaced the following inning by Alex Verdugo. The good news is, the x-rays on his knee were negative and he is supposedly just day-to-day. Great news.


W: Kenley Jansen (1-0)

L: Raisel Iglesias (0-3)

Next Up

The Dodgers face the Reds again with Kenta Maeda (2-1, 4.76 ERA) taking the hill against Tyler Mahle (0-0, 0.82 ERA) at 7:10 PT!

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    • Let me just say this bluz1st, if I were the manager I would see to it that one of our pitchers returns that ‘favor’ of plucking one of the Red’s hitters back. This has been talked about with Dodger pitching not backing up and protecting their teammates I just wonder how Alston or Lasorda would have responded to this. .

  1. Last night the Dodgers actually played their own minor league, yea they were wearing red, but those were AAA Dodgers. As I said earlier, thank you Joc! After another weak performance by Kenley Jansen, I had all but chalked this one up as a loss.

  2. Now that was a game. Kershaw showed up for seven innings. I think most of us, including Kershaw, intuitively knew what to expect when Puig stepped up in the 1st. After Puig tipped his red cap and effortlessly hit that 2-run home run, Kershaw was on. I trusted that the Dodgers were not going to let this game get away, especially after Bellinger was hit. (It is a relief to hear that Cody is okay.) At the top of the 9th, (classy) Kemp, virtually going unnoticed, quietly hit the single that put the Reds ahead and set the stage for a poetic justice “come back.” Peterson’s masterful walk off was a piece of work and could not have been scripted better for Jackie Robinson Day. Go Dodgers!

  3. 1. Bellinger was hit on purpose by that (expletive deleted) pitcher, who threw right at his knee.

    2. The Man – Clayton K – a real starter – is back – none too soon.

    • I concur. The pitch that hit Bellinger looked purposeful. I thought that Bellinger was seriously injured and would be out for awhile like Turner last year. I am glad that he left the game after a valiant effort to “walk it off” and relieved nothing was broken.