It’s Tony La Russa, baseball genius!
Hey, it’s no more a reach than any other explanation for Clayton Kershaw’s incredible meltdown.
The Diamondbacks hired La Russa as their new Big Enchilada of Baseball earlier Saturday, and then they went out and chased Kershaw like he was some minor leaguer just called up, which was actually their guy.
Kershaw gave up seven runs in an absolutely abysmal second inning -- and then, La Russa or no La Russa, Arizona being Arizona, the Diamondbacks almost had to hang on for an otherworldly 18-7 victory at Chase Field.
Kershaw showed no indication he had been abducted by aliens and replaced by some impostor from a pod in the first inning, retiring the Diamondbacks in order, two on strikeouts.
But then came the second inning, when he couldn’t locate his fastball and couldn’t control his curveball. Very bad combo. Kershaw’s inning went like this: walk, single, strikeout, triple, single, sacrifice bunt, triple, triple, double, balk, walk.
That will get any pitcher yanked out of a game, two-time Cy Young winner or not. Three triples in one inning takes some doing (it was an Arizona record), and even if Matt Kemp fell down chasing the last one, that is not exactly sharp pitching.
Kershaw never could get that third out, his 1 2/3 innings marking the second-shortest start of his career. He recorded one fewer out against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 4, 2010. His final line showed he was charged with seven runs, six hits, two walks, one balk and one red face.
Jamey Wright followed Kershaw, and after giving up an RBI single in the second (the run was charged to Kershaw), he gave up two more runs in his 2 1/3 innings.
Yet despite all that, the Dodgers briefly managed to make a game of it.
They started to show some offensive life against Arizona rookie Chase Anderson behind -- who else? -- Yasiel Puig.
Puig crushed a two-run homer somewhere in the vicinity of Utah in the third inning. For Puig, that increased his career-high hitting streak to 16 games. He also set a Los Angeles Dodgers record with his eighth consecutive game with an extra-base hit and RBI. Otherwise, he’s really struggling.
The Dodgers trailed 9-2 when they got themselves back into the game with a five-run sixth inning. Carl Crawford followed a single by Adrian Gonzalez and double by Kemp with a three-run homer.
That ended the night for Anderson, but right-hander Evan Marshall was greeted by a Juan Uribe single. After an error, pinch-hitter Andre Ethier doubled in two runs to incredibly pull the Dodgers to within 9-7.
Which was as close as the Dodgers would get. Paul Goldschmidt hit a three-run homer off Chris Withrow in the seventh inning, and that was that. Just for fun, Eric Chavez and A.J. Pollock added solo home runs off Chris Perez in the eighth. Thirteen of the Diamondbacks’ 21 hits were for extra bases.
Oh, and catcher Drew Butera made his second mop-up relief appearance in three games, and this time, not even that was pretty. Butera gave up a two-run homer to Goldschmidt, snapping his career two-game scoreless streak.
The Diamondbacks finished with five home runs, two by Goldschmidt, who also doubled twice, drove in six runs and scored five.
Just a routine game.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times