Win: Clayton Kershaw (3-2)
Loss: Kyle Lohse (1-2)
Save: Brandon League (8)
HR: Carl Crawford 2 (4)
MVP: Rickie Weeks (.050 WPA)
LVP: Yuniesky Betancourt (-.149)
Fangraphs Win Expectancy Graph
In nine seasons where he has played more than 100 games, Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford has averaged just under 15 home runs a season. In 13 plate appearances against Kyle Lohse over their respective careers, Crawford had just one hit coming into today--a single.
This time, Carl Crawford was the only hitter who could get to Lohse, knocking two balls out of the park. The first came as he led off the first inning for the Dodgers. He sent Lohse's first pitch of the game over the center field wall. The second came in the sixth inning, this time into right field. Not that the second homer mattered. Kyle Lohse could have had nothing but strikeouts after that first pitch and still lost the game.
That's how good Clayton Kershaw was. Kershaw pitched eight innings with the Brewers hitters having absolutely no really well hit balls. Milwaukee was able to pick up just four hits against the 2011 NL Cy Young winner. They also struck out 12 times. Jean Segura and Ryan Braun picked up singles in the first innings, then Rickie Weeks doubled in the second inning. That was it for the Brewers until the eighth inning when Carlos Gomez led off with a double. Between then, Kershaw sat down 18 straight batters.
Those four hits were the entirety of the Brewers offensive venture today. Brandon League pitched a perfect ninth to close out the game. Gomez's leadoff double in the eighth was also wasted as he took off running on a soft grounder by Martin Maldonado and got caught in a pickle between second and third. Were Matt Kemp better at defense, Gomez likely wouldn't have been on base to begin with.
Lohse was fantastic today against hitters not named Crawford. He pitched seven innings for his fourth quality start in five games this season. Outside of Crawford, the Dodgers picked up just three hits against him. Once again, Lohse made it through a game without walking a batter. He still has just two walks on the season and is now on pace to walk just 12.5 batters in a 200 inning season. That's remarkable.
There isn't much more to say about this game. It was fun to watch Kershaw demonstrate just how good he is, but a pity it came against the Brewers. The offense continues to be frustrating with it's inconsistencies. The sooner Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart come back, the better.
The Brewers will begin a new series tomorrow as they head back home to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Yovani Gallardo takes the mound against Wandy Rodriguez, who is having an excellent season thus far. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 CT.