There now, feel better?
Clayton Kershaw returned to the Dodgers on Tuesday, and for one night, all was right in their blue-colored world.
Kershaw had not pitched in a major league game since March 22, though the Washington Nationals might have been hard-pressed to believe it after he held them scoreless for seven innings in the Dodgers' 8-3 victory at Nationals Park.
Kershaw was activated from the disabled list after spending the last 45 days recovering from a strained upper back muscle. Tuesday he looked a lot like the guy who is coming off his second Cy Young Award.
He did allow nine hits – all singles – but he did not walk a batter and struck out nine. He demonstrated amazing control for someone who hadn’t pitched in the majors since the season opener in Australia.
Kershaw (2-0) threw just 89 pitches, 68 for strikes -- it's like he never had been away.
The Dodgers had their own issues with Washington right-hander Blake Trienen, making his first major league start, in the early going. The game was still scoreless going into the sixth when the Dodgers broke through with three runs after Kershaw started it off by hustling to first on a Treinen error.
Dee Gordon beat out an infield single (that was originally called an error) and Carl Crawford hustled to beat out a dribbler in front of the plate to load the bases. Hanley Ramirez singled in one, Andre Ethier scored another on a fielder’s choice and Juan Uribe singled in the third run.
Gordon sprinted his way to a two-out triple in the seventh and scored when left fielder Scott Hairston dropped a Crawford fly ball for an error. The Dodgers had to feel better about their defense after watching the Nationals.
The Dodgers made it a blowout with four more in the eighth. Ramirez led off the inning with a solo home run, and then after Matt Kemp walked and Ethier hit a little tapper by the mound that none of the Nationals broke for, catcher Drew Butera lined a three-run homer.
After all that, the Dodgers figured Kershaw had more than done his job and let him call it a night.
It couldn’t be all good news for the Dodgers, of course -- the bullpen was yet to be heard from. The Nationals scored three times off reliever Chris Perez in the bottom of the eighth and he left the bases loaded with two outs before Jamey Wright came in to end the rally.
Kenley Jansen threw a scoreless ninth in his first appearance since he labored with 34 pitches Thursday.
The Dodgers had 14 hits, three each from Crawford and Ramirez.