Notebook: D-backs take Kershaw deep four times, but lose in Game 1
LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw has started 304 games in his Major League career. Only once in that span had he ever given up four home runs in a single game.
The Arizona Diamondbacks became the second team to supply four souvenirs against Kershaw Friday night in Game 1 of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium, but they were too little, too late.
Kershaw was pitching with plenty of rope for most of the game. The Dodgers scored four times in the first, highlighted by Justin Turner’s three-run blast off of Taijuan Walker.
A.J. Pollock was the first Arizona player to go yard on Kershaw, with a solo homer in the third inning. The Dodgers added three runs in the fourth to pad their lead to 7-1. Then J.D. Martinez, who homered four times in a game here in September, launched a monster shot to left in the sixth to make it 7-2.
Ketel Marte and Jeff Mathis went back-to-back in the seventh inning to trim the lead to three runs and chase Kershaw from the game with one out in the inning.
“I think we had a good game plan. We hit four home runs off him, that’s the first time in his career (editor’s note: actually, the second) that’s happened,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “We have a lot of positives to focus on.”
Clayton Kershaw: First pitcher in postseason history to allow 4 HR in a win
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 7, 2017
Kershaw, interestingly enough, is 2-0 in games where he gives up four home runs. The New York Mets turned the trick on June 19 of this year, but Los Angeles triumphed, 10-6. The Dodgers had four runs in the first inning of that game, too.
“So they hit some good pitches. Not really,” Kershaw said, admitting he was fatigued in the seventh when Marte and Mathis homered. “I just didn’t have much left, I don’t know.
“Hopefully when you give up hits, maybe one or two would stay in the ballpark. But tonight it didn’t seem like that was going to happen. Obviously, a frustrating way to end it, but thankfully we had a big lead.”
Kershaw became the ninth starter to give up four dingers in a postseason game. Yu Darvish, now Kershaw’s teammate, did it last season while pitching for the Texas Rangers.
TALK ABOUT STARTING FAST
Turner’s three-run homer off of Walker in the first didn’t only set the tone for the game but continued an early trend in this year’s playoffs.
Turner became the ninth player in eight postseason games to this point to hit a home run in the first inning of a game. The Dodgers third baseman joins Brian Dozier and Eddie Rosario of Minnesota, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa of Houston, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius of the Yankees and the D-backs’ Paul Goldschmidt as players to hit first-inning round-trippers this October.
KUDOS TO GODLEY
Zack Godley was brought into a tough situation. The right-hander relieved Walker in the second inning and inherited a four-run deficit. Godley responded, however, going five innings, allowing three runs (two earned) and striking out five.
“(Zack) gave us a chance to play catch up, and that’s what we ask our relievers to do,” Lovullo said. “It was a new role for him, but I thought he did great.”
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