LOS ANGELES—With Clayton Kershaw only allowing three hits the whole game one would think the Dodgers would not need 13 innings to win the game. One wild pitch from the Texas native cost him a win, but fortunately for him his teammates were able to earn one for the Dodgers.
One teammate in particular, Logan Forsythe, was to thank for the win. Playing his first game since coming off the disabled list, Forsythe showed rust early going 12 innings without putting the ball into play. His 13th inning double broke the ice and rust off his bat while simultaneously earning their 29th win of the season.
“You try not to focus on the negatives,” Forsythe said of his early at-bats. “My swing didn’t feel too bad. Something was a tick off. Lance has always had my number when I’ve faced him before. Yeah, I was just trying to make adjustments. I looked at some video. Not a huge video guy. Luckily, the adjustment was made and was able to deliver for the team.”
Forsythe definitely wasn’t the only one struggling throughout the day. Both teams pitchers, Kershaw (7-2, 2.01 ERA) and the Cardinals Lance Lynn (4-2, 2.53 ERA), stymied opposing batters all game long. In fact, Tuesday’s game was the first since at least 1913 in which both teams allowed four or fewer hits while striking out 14 or more. It also marked just the third time in Major League history where both teams’ pitchers allowed four or fewer hits in a game of at least 12 innings.
The scoring was few and far between throughout the whole night. Yasmani Grandal opened the game with a first inning solo shot that kept the Dodgers in the lead for almost the whole game until the ninth inning. Kershaw, who was still pitching at this point, gave up a base hit to Randal Grichuk. Kershaw missed out on what could have been his major league leading eighth win when he threw a wild pitch that got past Grandal and allowed Grichuk to make it home and tie the game 1-1.
“Tough pitch to block, obviously,” Kershaw said. “You hope it’s just a wild pitch. Just unfortunate. There’s no way else to put it. The way it bounced, where it ended up. Two bases on a wild pitch, that’s no fun.”
As the game moved into extra innings things got scary for Dodger nation. Joc Pederson, who narrowly avoided a major collision with Cody Bellinger in the seventh inning, crashed head first into Yasiel Puig’s elbow, then continuing to collide face first with the outfield wall. Puig made the catch, and stayed with his fallen teammate as he waited for Pederson to respond. The center fielder was able to get up, with blood dripping down his forehead, but was taken out of the game and the arena. It was later determined that he suffered a neck sprain.
“My neck is a little stiff. We’ll see [Wednesday],” Pederson said. “I already did some treatment [Tuesday night]. I’ll come back [Wednesday] and see where I’m at.”
The stellar pitching continued into the 13th inning with the score all knotted up one apiece. Kike Hernandez was able to get into scoring position with a base hit, and after four strikeouts and a walk, Forsythe came on to be the hero the Dodgers needed. With a double Forsythe was able to end the Dodgers night with one more in the win column. After a grueling 13 inning pitchers duel both sides were in awe over the spectacular game that took place.
“This one was pretty special,” said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny of the night’s stellar pitching. “Once again, you knew when we headed into this, I figured it was going to be a well-pitched game on both sides. I thought our bullpen came in and did a great job, too. It was just going to be who got that big hit, and it was them.”
The win makes it five out f the last six for the Dodgers, while the Cardinals are having different luck of late, losing five of the last six. Their three game set continues Wednesday, May 24 as the Cardinals Mike Leake (4-2, 2.03 ERA) takes on Rich Hill 1-1, 2.77 ERA).