Kershaw, Turner, and Betts Gave the Dodgers Their Eighth Straight Win

Saturday, April 17, 2021
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2021

On a beautiful Saturday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers extended their winning streak as they shut out the San Diego Padres 2-to-0.

After last night’s wild five-hour game, both teams needed a pitching duel, and neither Clayton Kershaw nor Yu Darvish disappointed. If Justin Turner continued his surprising hot start with a ninth-inning solo home run, the Dodgers would have won the game.

Kershaw pitched wonderfully through six innings. While he pitched with some traffic in four out of his six innings, he never seemed to be in trouble. He exchanged words with the Padres after Austin Barnes interfered with the swing of Jurickson Profar, but there was no violence.

Darvish pitched masterfully until the fifth inning when he temporarily lost his control. Before the fifth inning, Darvish was pitching a perfect game. He used his curveball and cutter effectively. However, with two outs, Darvish hit Zach McKinstry with a pitch. Luke Raley singled, and Barnes walked to load the bases. With a ten-pitch at-bat, Kershaw drew a walk that forced in a run.

Both Jimmy Nelson and Blake Treinen pitched well in relief. With an out and a runner on in the bottom of the ninth inning, manager Dave Roberts elected to bring in the usual reliable Victor Gonzàlez to get the last two outs, but Gonzàlez walked the tying run. Then, he convinced Jake Cronenworth to ground to the first base. The slumping Tommy Pham hit a sinking line drive to center field, but Mookie Betts perfectly timed his diving catch to end the game. Not many center fielders could have made that winning catch. Betts does not normally play center field, but with Cody Bellinger out for an undefined period with a small hairline fracture in his fibula, the Dodgers need a great defensive center fielder. While Chris Taylor is a satisfactory center fielder, Betts has extraordinary defensive abilities that will make him a superior center fielder.

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