Clayton Kershaw pitches Dodgers into 1st Place

I gathered everyone in a big group last night to go watch Mike Leake face Clayton Kershaw. Sometimes, you get exactly what you want to see and it stings. Just like when I went to see Matt Cain pitch in person last week and he shut out the Reds, Clayton Kershaw was as advertised working 7 and 1/3 of an inning striking out seven and allowing only one run.

He was hitting 92-94 MPH on the gun the entire way (110 pitches) and he was spotting up from what I could see. He was also aided by a few tight strike zone calls, but largely we weren’t doing a lot off of him and those type of moments are magnified because we weren’t really hitting.
I went to see Mike Leake, and indeed I saw his first big league loss. Leake had the Dodgers scoreless into the 4th inning and I had to go and open my big mouth to my buddy. I told my buddy before the inning “Leake’s doing it again isn’t he?”.

Shortly after that the Dodgers chipped across a few runs. And an inning after that Andre Ethier homered to the left of us. After that, it was all over but for the beer drinking, the peanut eating, and watching my friends who have never had skyline chilli give it a try. Andre Ethier had a huge night, lasers everywhere. He ended up with three hits and enters play today hitting .346 for the year.

I wanted to get a shot in the bullpen, and I got Hong-Chih Kuo stretching. Kuo would enter the game in the 8th and pick up the save. He was touching 96-97 MPH on the gun. I believe he is one of the finest righties in the entire NL, maybe the best aside from Arthur Rhodes.

We’re a few players away from being able to fully play with these guys. We’re not there yet. We’re good, but the Dodgers are markedly better in every phase of the game. That’s not really a knock on the Reds; who are now 0-5 when I’m present in the ball park this year.

Got to see future Hall of Famer Manny Ramirez play, and he wasn’t about to disappoint. He homered heading into the bottom of the 9th inning off Jordan Smith to make the score 6-1. I’m not a Manny fan at this point, but it’s cool to be in the same stadium that he is for a night. You can’t deny the guy is one of the greatest hitters of all-time and he’s entertaining.

To watch him play left field, he still has a lot of trouble on a nightly basis. It really shows when you are at a game live and watching him track fly balls.
Jay Bruce’s average has slipped all the way down to .268 for the year. He singled off Kershaw shortly after this photo was taken and ended up drawing a tough walk in the 8th inning off Kuo before Drew Stubbs hit into a line-out double play; but Bruce just struggles when we’re at the park to see he and the Reds play. It’s been forever since he’s went on a week long tear, and it’s showing. We need this guy to be hitting home runs and driving in runners and night after night he fails to do that.

Reds end the night tied for first place with the Cardinals who lost to Seattle 2-1. Who knows how much longer we’ll be able to hang on.