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Clayton Kershaw brings the pain, earns first shutout as Dodgers win 1-0 despite managing one hit

It was the closest thing to a playoff atmosphere the Dodgers are going to experience this season.

The Giants and their fans are always up for the Dodgers anyway, but here came the middle of September and the Giants trying to chase down the Padres in the National League West.

On a cool Tuesday night at AT&T Park, the Dodgers couldn’t respond at the plate but received a starting effort from Clayton Kershaw the Giants are likely to remember a while. Or be haunted by.

Kershaw was simply brilliant, shutting out the Giants on four hits and beating hard-luck Barry Zito when the Dodgers scored the game’s only run on an error to escape the tense night with a 1-0 victory -- despite managing only one hit.

Kershaw, 22, rose to the occasion, throwing the first shutout of his three-year career. Kershaw (12-10) wasn’t in his overpowering mode -- he only struck out four -- but he was economical. He did not walk a batter and allowed only one runner to advance to second.

The loss dropped the Giants 1½ games back of the Padres. It was the second time this season the Giants lost a game in which they allowed only one hit -- the other coming against the Padres.

Zito allowed the one hit in his 5 2/3 innings and stuck out five. Yet there is little Zito can seem to do right these days.

Tuesday marked his ninth consecutive loss and 12th consecutive start without a victory. His last win came back on July 16.

He seemed firmly in control of the scoreless game in the sixth when he hit Reed Johnson with one out. Kershaw’s bunt sacrificed Reed to second.

Zito needed one last out to get out of the inning, but it proved elusive. With first base open, he pitched carefully to Rafael Furcal and walked him. But then he walked Andre Ethier to load the bases.

Giants Manager Bruce Bochy elected to leave Zito in the game, and it should have worked.

Casey Blake bounced one up the middle to shortstop Juan Uribe. And that ball screamed third out. Only Uribe, who killed the Dodgers when the Giants were last at Dodger Stadium, dropped the ball.

He threw late to second for the force and everyone was safe, as Johnson crossed the plate. The Dodgers had scored the game’s only run on a hit batter, two walks and an error.

That ended the night for Zito (8-13). Santiago Casilla came on to strike out Matt Kemp -- who had the only hit against Zito -- and end the inning.

The Dodgers, though, had a mighty run and Kershaw on the mound.

-- Steve Dilbeck
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It's an absolute shame that nobody, including the Times, has recognized that Clayton Kershaw has quietly become one of the best pitchers in MLB and the ace of the Dodger staff. In some ways, he reminds me of Koufax, with his big drop off the table curveball and Hershiser, with his gritiness and ability to pitch his way out of trouble. Every time he takes the mound, I absolutely expect the Dodgers to be in the game because he's that good. When it's over and done, K-Shaw could be one of the best pitchers to ever wear a Dodger uniform, so long as the McCourt and Colletti don't find a way to screw it up.

I think Billingsley is not far behind, based on his major improvements this season. And as I've stated several times already, Kenley Jansen looks to me like he should be a starting pitcher. Have him start in winter ball and let's find out.

I think you need to read from more sources. I have read from here and other places about the maturation of Kershaw's game. Everyone sees it that has a couple of Baseball braincells to rub together. Clayton's baseball mind and heart is where the growth is most evident. Bills needs to follow suit. He already should have completed that transition. I fear he is lacking in the heart category.

Kershaw has been great, had the dodgers blown several games hes left with the lead, he could be looking at an 18-19 win season. Additionally, his ERA is below 3 and he is 2 in the NL in Ks. Dude's on his way. Billingsley, however, is not making such strides. He still walks too many batters, is a mental midget, and has not yet learned to control his pitches. He outta learn from Kershaw, cause lets face it the McDivorces arent going to get any help for this team.

The Dodgers have two great pitchers currently in their organization. The first is called Kid K, aka Kershaw. The second is called Killer K, aka Kuo. They both are dominant, lights-out pitchers.

Somewhat a microcosm of the season. Here's one run, see if you can make it stand up and not let the bullpen get involved.

Kershaw entered with a 3.0-something ERA in his last 8 starts and only 1 win. He's able to stay in the game so the bullpen doesn't muck it up.

Thanks, Uribe, for the fumble.

Glad we beat the Giants, truly I am. But we can beat them all we want and it won't be remembered like the disappointment of this season.

With the offensive juggernaut we have, I don't see any reason why we can't score, oh, one or two more runs this series.

The last time I remember something like this occurring was in September, but the year was 1965. On Sept. 9 of that year Sandy Koufax pitched his perfect game against the Cubs at Dodger Stadium. And just like last night the score was 1-0, the Dodgers had but one hit, that hit didn't even figure in the scoring and the run scored on an error.

But for that team of less than stellar offense the Koufax game was the second one that year that they had won in that manner. On May 15, 1965 also against the Cubs and also at the Ravine, victory had been theirs with but one base hit. In that contest, Al (the Bull) Ferrara had the Dodgers only hit, crashing his only homerun of the year, as the team won 3-1. Ferrara came to bat in the 8th inning as a pinch hitter with 2 on via error and hit his blast off tough luck loser Dick Ellsworth who yielded his only hit of the game and 3 unearned runs.

This whole scenario, not to mention that 1-0 victory over our "crosstown" rivals in 2008 accomplished on June 28, without the benefit of any hits, reminds of the my favorite baseball story.

Once when baseball great Charlie Grimm was managing the Cubs, he sent one of his scouts to take in games of an independent minor league. After a week or so the scout sent a wire that he had just seen a pitcher throw a perfect game. The scout went on saying that not only that, but the hurler had actually struckout all 27 men, and only one batter had even managed to hit a foul ball. The scout asked for authorization to offer the young man a contract. Grimm wired back denying the request and instead demanded, "Sign the fellow who hit the foul ball. We need hitters."

Somehow I think Joe Torre would understand Charlie's thought process. And one more thought, in these 4 games not one of the runs scored by the Dodgers was an earned run.

Enjoy Kershaw while you can, because as long as McCourt owns this team, he will not be signed once he's a free agent. Hopefully, that's far enough down the road and won't be an issue, if McCourt is gone by then. If not for Kershaw's pitching and Uribe's error, this would have been another typical Dodger loss: no hitting at all and Kemp again being thrown out trying to steal. He is beyond help.
I misspoke yesterday when I said the Jints had taken 2 of 3 from us last week at home. Vinny corrected me last night by mentioning that we had been SWEPT AT HOME by SF. I apolgize.
Interesting piece in the Times today by Bill Shaikin regarding Bud Selig's role (or non-role) in the future of the Dodgers pending the divorce trial outcome. He could begin by apologizing to the city of Los Angeles for helping allow McCourt to buy the Dodgers without having the money to do so.

Reminds me of the old joke about the Dodgers in the 60's, when a guys says "Koufax pitched another no-hitter", and his friend replies, "Did they win?"

Beckman: That friend was Don Drysdale.

I've lost a lot of interest in the horrible hitting Dodgers ...Way to go Donny Don!!
But, it's great to semi watch a game to see Kershaw, finally pitch a complete game...Got to give some credit to Barajas, the GIANT HATER !!

Yes, Steve and Beckman, that was Drysdale. The instance was from 1964, when Sandy pitched a no-hitter against the Phils in Philadelphia. Only a very close call on a 3-2 pitch to Richie Allen early in the game that resulted in a walk, a pitch most in the press box felt was strike 3, prevented that from being a perfect game, which would have been two for Sandy, something never done in baseball history.

Drysdale had been granted permission that evening to attend a charity event in Washington, D. C. When Don arrived back by plane he was beseiged by reporters with the news of the no-hitter and asked for comment, which was when he inquired if the team had won. When asked if he was surprised that Sandy had pitched a no-hitter, Don replied, "No, I'm only surprised when he doesn't pitch one."

The Dodgers inability to hit and score runs sadly has great precedent. I remember a line from the legendary comedian Milton Berle in the 1960s commenting upon the Dodgers lack of offensive prowess. Berle stated the the Dodgers lineup reminded him of a box of Kleenex tissues, "They pop up one at a time."

I also had a 1-0 complete game shutout victory with only one hit backing me.

@crow... Perhaps I should have drawn the distinction between the bloggers and legitimate reporters who write about the Dodgers. Certainly you can find accolades written from the bazillions of bloggers who write about the Dodgers, but I'm talking about articles coming from press pass carrying journalists like Bill Plaschke and Dylan Hernandez, guys who make a living for writing about sports.

Little has been written about Kershaw this year, outside of the context covering his scheduled starts. I guarantee if Kershaw's first name was Fernando, there would be a major media blitz surrounding him.


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