Dodgers come out swinging and blowout D-Backs behind Kershaw, 9-1

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The offense produced 16 hits while Kershaw picked up career win #209 to boost Dodgers to series win.

LOS ANGELES – Another night, another convincing Dodger win. The offense was on fire against another solid Arizona starting pitcher and Clayton Kershaw continued his impressive 2023 campaign to give the Dodgers the series win. 

Speaking of Kershaw, it was another day at the office for the veteran left-hander. He pitched five innings, allowing only three hits and striking out five batters on just 79 pitches. Kershaw has been one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball for many years, and he showed no signs of slowing down in this latest outing. This performance helped the Dodgers secure their ninth consecutive series win. 

The bullpen once again continued to dominate once Kershaw left the game as well, hurling four innings of shutout baseball to hold the Diamondbacks to only one run. The combination of Gus Varland, newly called up Tyson Miller and Victor Gonzalez was lethal, adding four strikeouts to Kershaw’s five and allowing him to exit early to get rest with confidence. 

The story of the night however, was the offense, who has been feasting on Diamondbacks pitching in the first two games of this series. As I mentioned in recent recaps, Arizona came in playing some of the best baseball they’ve played since the beginning of the year and felt confident in making this a tough series on the Dodgers. But this lineup keeps on chugging along. The Dodgers had three-hit nights from their 5,6, and 8 spots in the lineup Tuesday, with David Peralta, Jason Heyward and Chris Taylor going 9-11 with five RBI. Not to mention, Max Muncy has an eight-game hitting streak and Mookie Betts launched his career high 36th home run of the season. Ho-hum…

The Dodgers are now 82-49 and are 13 ½  games up on the now 2nd place Giants in the National League West.

Here are my three takeaways:

Mookie Betts Sets Career High in Homers 

The 36th home run of the year for Mookie set a new career high that was broken just last year. For a guy that many said would not get back to the same player he was in Boston, Mookie is proving that he is ascending in his power aspect. This year, it feels like Dodger fans got the best version of Betts that we have ever seen, not just due to the power numbers, but the defensive versatility. There is a reason this guy now leads the National League MVP betting odds. 

Clayton Kershaw Ties Drysdale For Second in Wins 

Kershaw tied Don Drysdale for second place in Dodger history with 209 career wins, just below Don Sutton’s 233. I am sure we can see him pass Drysdale and then carve into Sutton’s first place record with a whole month or so left to play, but this just speaks to not only the greatness, but longevity of Kershaw’s career. To see a starting pitcher at his age go out and reduce his velocity but maintain the command and break on most of his pitches has been remarkable. Los Angeles fans are spoiled to be able to see both Kershaw and Los Angeles Laker Lebron James both continue to dominate in their late 30’s…

The Offense Is Hitting Elite Pitching 

Arizona sent out their two best arms in the first two games of this series and both got clobbered by this hot Dodger offense. They had 16 hits against Merrill Kelly and the Diamondbacks in this game and the bottom of the lineup had one of their best collective nights of the season. As I have cautioned before, obviously there is a lot of baseball left to be played and this team has been known to go on hot and cold streaks throughout the year and in the playoffs. But right now, this lineup 1-9 has been stellar and versatile. 

The Dodgers will go with a bullpen day Wednesday against Brandon Pfaadt for the Diamondbacks. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM PST.