Clayton Kershaw and Dodgers lose to Giants, must cope with Walker Buehler’s absence
SAN FRANCISCO — On a day Clayton Kershaw returned to the mound for the first time in a month, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Walker Buehler might not do so again for at least “a good bit of time.”
Such was the dichotomy surrounding the Dodgers on Saturday, when neither their 3-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants nor Kershaw’s four-inning, two-run start coming back from injury was their biggest concern.
Instead, the status of Buehler’s injured right elbow hung over the club.
A night after exiting a start early because of right elbow discomfort, Buehler was diagnosed with an elbow strain Saturday after undergoing an MRI exam in Los Angeles and was put on the injured list.
According to Roberts, Buehler won’t need surgery and, as of now, is expected to pitch again. However, he won’t pick up a ball for six to eight weeks, then will need to rebuild arm strength and stamina, as if it were the start of spring training.
Final: Giants clinch series with 3-2 win
Despite a home run by Freddie Freeman to lead off the ninth inning, the Dodgers couldn’t complete the comeback.
Down by one, they got singles from Trea Turner and pinch-hitter Hanser Alberto to put the tying and go-ahead runs on base. But with two outs, Cody Bellinger grounded out to end the game.
The Dodgers are now 37-22, have lost 8 of their last 12, and will simply try not to get swept tomorrow.
Final: Giants 3, Dodgers 2
Giants get insurance run in eighth after some umpire controvery
In an effort to ensure closer Craig Kimbrel got some work today (he hadn’t pitched since last weekend after being on paternity leave), the Dodgers brought him into the game in the eighth.
The right-hander, however, had no command.
After giving up a leadoff single, Kimbrel walked two batters to load the bases, then spiked a pitch that allowed a key insurance run to score.
There was some controversy on the play: It appeared that the batter, Brandon Crawford, swung and that the ball might have deflected off his foot before kicking away.
The Dodgers dugout wasn’t alerted, however, until shortstop Trea Turner yelled to them from the field.
Roberts tried to come out and challenge the call, but the umpires told him his 20-second window to initiate a review had closed.
The call — and run — stood.
End 8th: Giants lead 3-1
Dodgers get a run, but still trail after leaving bases loaded again
The Dodgers got one run in the eighth. But they squandered another massive opportunity to take the lead.
With one out, Will Smith singled, Justin Turner reached on an error and Cody Bellinger hit an RBI ground-rule double to cut the Giants lead in half.
After the Giants turned to right-hander Camilo Doval, Chris Taylor drew a walk to load the bases.
However, the Dodgers couldn’t take advantage, as both Gavin Lux and Mookie Betts struck out — the latter after reaching a 3-and-0 count.
The Dodgers are now 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and have left 12 men on base today.
Mid 8th: Giants lead 2-1
Dodgers load the bases with no outs, but still come up empty
The Dodgers probably won’t get a better chance all day than they did in the seventh.
After a leadoff walk from Chris Taylor and back-to-back singled by Gavin Lux and Mookie Betts, the Dodgers had the bases loaded with no outs.
With the heart of the Dodgers order due up, the Giants summoned left-hander Jarlín García out of the bullpen.
He escaped the jam without any runs.
After falling behind 3-and-1 to Freddie Freeman, García threw a slider on the inner edge to work the count full before fanning Freeman with a low fastball for the first out.
On the next pitch, Trea Turner hit a bouncing ball up the middle that was converted for an inning-ending double-play, bringing the 41,236 in attendance roaring to their feet.
Mid 7th: Giants lead 2-0
Clayton Kershaw’s day ends after four innings
Clayton Kershaw’s return to the mound lasted four innings, before the left-hander was removed before the start of the fifth because of a limited pitch count.
Kershaw was up and down in the start, following up a scoreless inning first by giving up two runs in the second, then retiring the side in order in the third before having to work out of trouble in the fourth.
But overall, his numbers were solid: Four innings, two runs, three hits, two walks, four strikeouts.
He threw 71 pitches, after manager Dave Roberts said he would be capped at around 70.
His ERA for the season rose slightly to 2.12.
Yency Almonte came out of the bullpen and pitched a scoreless fifth inning.
The Dodgers offense, meanwhile, has still yet to score a run.
End 5th: Giants lead 2-0
Giants turn to bullpen in fourth, keep Dodgers off the board
After getting three scoreless innings from opener Sam Long, the Giants kept the Dodgers scoreless after turning to their bullpen in the fourth.
Side-arm right-hander Tyler Rogers took the mound and, despite giving up singles to Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger, escaped the inning unscathed.
The Dodgers have five hits so far, but nothing to show for it.
Mid 4th: Giants lead 2-0
Giants take the lead with two runs in the second inning
The second inning was nothing like the first for Clayton Kershaw.
After getting a quick out to begin his day retiring the first four batters in a row, Kershaw hung a middle-middle slider in a 1-and-2 count that Thairo Estrada hammered for a solo home run.
Things wouldn’t get easier from there.
Kershaw walked the next batter, Brandon Crawford, on four pitches. He threw another slider in the zone to Austin Wynns in the next at-bat, leading to a single.
With two outs, Kershaw’s slider got hit again, this time by Luis González for an RBI single.
And while Kershaw limited the damage there — even after Freddie Freeman made a poor decision to waste a potential pickoff opportunity — his pitch count is now up to 42.
End 2nd: Giants lead 2-0
Clayton Kershaw retires side in order in the first
Clayton Kershaw began his return with a sharp first inning, retiring the side in order on just 11 pitches.
Kershaw struck out his first batter, Austin Slater, after getting him to whiff on a couple sliders. His fastball averaged 91.3 mph out of the gate.
End 1st: No score
Dodgers’ Walker Buehler is put on injured list, will miss ‘a good bit of time’
SAN FRANCISCO — Walker Buehler will miss “a good bit of time,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, after the pitcher was put on the injured list Saturday because of a right forearm strain.
Exactly how long he will be out won’t be determined, however, until the team receives the results of an MRI exam Buehler took Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles.
“The first step is to get the information and figure out where we go,” Roberts said. “I don’t really want to say how long [he might be out].”
Buehler was injured during his start against the San Francisco Giants on Friday night, when he said something “grabbed” in his elbow while he threw a breaking ball in the third inning.
Clayton Kershaw activated, will make return from back injury against Giants
SAN FRANCISCO — Clayton Kershaw is officially back, as the Dodgers activated the left-hander Saturday afternoon ahead of his start in the team’s second game of this weekend’s series against the Giants.
It will be Kershaw’s first start since May 7, after he spent the last month on the injured list with SI joint inflammation in his back.
Manager Dave Roberts said Kershaw will be on a pitch count of about 70 in his return.
Left-hander Justin Bruihl was optioned in a corresponding move.
Here is the Dodgers full lineup for Saturday:
How to watch and stream the Dodgers this season
Here’s a look at the Dodgers broadcast and streaming schedule for the remainder of the 2022 regular season:
Dodgers fall to Giants as Walker Buehler leaves early because of elbow discomfort
SAN FRANCISCO — Walker Buehler’s season was already heading for another disappointing turn Friday night, after he gave up three runs in four innings against the San Francisco Giants.
By the end of the Dodgers’ 7-2 loss, however, Buehler’s underwhelming stat line was the least of his worries.
After he exited the game following just four innings and 70 pitches, the Dodgers announced that Buehler was experiencing right elbow discomfort. The team didn’t immediately know the severity of the injury. Buehler said he was going to get tests Saturday morning.
Buehler said the issue first popped up after he threw a breaking ball in the third inning. He tried to pitch through it but left the game before the start of the fifth when the discomfort didn’t subside.