There he is, all dominant and everything. If Clayton Kershaw was feeling better about the way he was pitching after throwing seven scoreless innings against Atlanta and then beating the Rockies in his last start (corrected), he must be feeling positively ebullient about now.
Once again he did not give up a run, only this time it was over eight innings and this time it came against his personal nemesis, the St. Louis Cardinals.
Kershaw surrendered only one hit in eight innings and struck out 11 in leading the Dodgers to a 2-0 victory over the Cardinals on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.
Kershaw was locked in a scoreless pitching duel with St. Louis’ Jamie Garcia for six innings, before the Dodgers finally pushed two runs across in the seventh.
Chris Heisey and Yasiel Puig -- just off the disabled list -- put together back-to-back doubles to score the first run, and then Justin Turner lined a hit off the glove of second baseman Kolten Wong. The ball then died in shallow center and Puig scored from second, his injured hamstring looking all healthy on that run.
That was the night’s offense.
The rest was left to Kershaw. His performance may not have wiped out the memory of his being 0-4 with a 7.54 ERA the past two postseasons against the Cardinals, but it had to feel better than your average regular-season victory.
Kershaw (5-3) walked two and hit one batter, but Randal Grichuk’s single in the second inning was the only hit he allowed. He retired his last 11 consecutive batters. This was his third consecutive strong start.
The Dodgers turned the ninth over to closer Kenley Jansen, who showed no ill effects from his altitude problems in Denver on Wednesday, retiring the Cardinals in order to pick up his sixth save in as many opportunities.