LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw received some of his loudest applause Thursday when he grounded out to third base. As metaphors for the Dodgers’ malaise go, this was a good one. Still, it wasn’t the defining moment of the Dodgers’ latest nightmare. Not even close.
The primal scream Kershaw unleashed after his day was done echoed off the dugout wall and up to the second deck of Dodger Stadium. At last, the feeling of a team with a .717 winning percentage losing 12 of 13 games had a sound. Kershaw kicked a plastic orange cooler in the dugout and threw his glove against the wall too, but they didn’t travel as far.
Other than an injury-shortened outing in June, Kershaw’s latest start was also his shortest of 2017. He allowed four runs against the Colorado Rockies in a mere 3⅔ innings and suffered his third loss in 23 starts. Colorado racked up a few more runs against the Dodgers’ bullpen and won, 9-1, before an announced crowd of 51,492.
On a night the Dodgers needed Kershaw to reprise the streak-stopper role that’s come to define his career, the Rockies quickly got the better of the ace left-hander. The first four batters of the game all collected hits – a first for Kershaw in 288 career starts, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
When the game’s third batter, Nolan Arenado, hit a three-run home run into the Dodgers’ bullpen, the damage was done.
Kershaw (16-3) allowed six hits, walked three batters and struck out seven. His earned-run average rose from 1.95 to 2.15, still a hair in front of Max Scherzer (2.19) for the National League lead.
Though he bore the brunt of the damage, Kershaw wasn’t alone in succumbing to the Dodgers’ latest opponent.
The first pitcher out of the bullpen, Brock Stewart, allowed two runs in 1⅓ innings, including one on a passed ball that appeared to cross up catcher Yasmani Grandal.
Left-hander Edward Paredes, who hadn’t allowed a run in his first eight major league appearances, faced four batters in the seventh inning and didn’t record an out. Two scored when Josh Ravin issued bases-loaded walks.
For the Rockies, who had lost five of their last seven games, beating up on the National League West leaders reignited their bid for the NL’s second wild-card spot. Their September hasn’t gone as planned either. The Arizona Diamondbacks’ streak of 13 consecutive wins (six of which came at the Dodgers’ expense) has all but assured the Rockies of starting the postseason on the road – if they make…