"If you look at his pitch count, I think after the seventh inning he had about 65 pitches, which is pretty impressive," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "There's a definition for pitching: in, out, change speeds, terrific command."
Los Angeles has the best record in baseball at 37-19, with Philadelphia right behind at 32-20. But in the Dodgers' last four games, they've managed just two runs and 15 hits in 28 innings against the opponents' starting pitchers. They came into this four-game series leading the NL in team batting average and runs scored. "You definitely don't want it to develop into a trend, but nobody's panicking around here," Pierre said.
Clayton Kershaw matched the Phillies ace, although using many more pitches, and allowed a pair of runs before leaving in the sixth inning with one out after 105 pitches. The 21-year-old lefty is 0-3 with a 6.64 ERA in four career starts against Philadelphia.
As in previous starts, the young lefthander is very effective but his command is just a little off and he runs out of pitches between the fifth and sixth innings. He struck out five and walked three while allowing only four hits but this night, his teammates just didn't give him any runs to work with.
Kershaw was pitching for the first time in eight days. The Dodgers had him backing up Hiroki Kuroda but he wasn't needed. They have wanted to give Kershaw a little more rest and the layoff didn't seem to affect him.
Philadelphia tagged him for a run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly after Chase Utley had doubled. And a second run scored when Jason Werth singled and scored on Raul Ibanez's double in the sixth. Werth also singled in a run off Cory Wade in the seventh.
The Dodgers were held to five hits but had trouble keeping the runners on base. Hamels was hitting the inside and outside corners of the plate, getting ahead of each hitter and forcing the Dodgers to abandon their working the count attack.
Pierre singled in the first but Rafael Furcal hit into a double play. James Loney singled in the second and Russell Marti hit into a double play. Kershaw double to deep right field in the third but was out attempting to stretch the hit into a double. Andre Ethier doubled to lead off the sixth, then seven in a row went out in order before Matt Kemp singled in the ninth.
"The kid's good, man," said Orlando Hudson, who went 0-for-3 with a strikeout after missing his first game of the season the night before. "What can you say? He throws strikes, he mixes in his offspeed pitches and does a great job of moving the ball in and out, and he gets ground balls."
The Dodgers were shut out at home this season for the first time and were held scoreless for only the second time this season. However, both have come in the past six games, and the Dodgers have been held to two runs or less in six of its last eight games, going 4-4 over that stretch.
"We've faced a lot of good pitching," said shortstop Rafael Furcal, who went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. "The offense is down a little bit, not scoring as much runs, but we've been playing hard and we'll keep it going. We'll see what happens tomorrow."
The Giants beat Washington twice, with Randy Johnson winning his 300th game, and moved to eight games behind the Dodgers.
The Dodgers will send left-hander Eric Milton (2-0, 3.14) to the mound against 45-year-old Jamie Moyer (4-5, 5.86) in the second game of the four-game series.
Score by Innings Philadelphia 000 101 100-3 Los Angeles 000 000 000-0 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Pierre lf 4 0 1 0 .367 Furcal ss 4 0 0 0 .239 Hudson 2b 3 0 0 0 .324 Blake 3b 3 0 0 0 .290 Loney 1b 3 0 1 0 .285 Martin c 3 0 0 0 .263 Ethier rf 3 0 1 0 .263 Kemp cf 3 0 1 0 .311 Kershaw p 1 0 1 0 .311 Loretta ph 1 0 0 0 .283 Hoffmann ph 1 0 0 0 .158 --------------------------------- Totals 29 0 5 0 Philadelphia 31 3 7 3 2B- Ethier (13). LOB- Los Angeles 2, Philadelphia 9. Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Kershaw (3-4) 5.1 4 2-2 3 5 4.26 Belisario 0.2 0 0-0 0 0 2.18 Wade 0.2 2 1-1 1 0 5.12 Leach 0.2 0 0-0 0 1 5.19 Mota 1.2 1 0-0 1 1 6.04 T- 2:31. Att- 33,839.Dodgers Blue Notes-- Outfielder Xavier Paul worked out on the field with his teammates for the first time since he was placed on the disabled list on May 22 with a staph infection. ...became the first opposing pitcher to throw a shutout at Dodger Stadium since Arizona's Brandon Webb(notes) on Aug. 5, 2007. ...It was the 45th anniversary of Sandy Koufax's 3-0 no hitter at Connie Mack Stadium. ...The bullpen allowed a run over the final 3.1 innings and has allowed only two in the last 17 innings. ...Kemp's ninth inning single increased his hitting streak to nine games.