LOS ANGELES—The rookie strikes again. After 11 innings of virtually no scoring, Cody Bellinger blasted a 12th inning home run to give the Dodgers a narrow victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. Clayton Kershaw and Jimmy Nelson were largely to blame for the game being such a low scoring affair. They combined to strike out 25 batters between them, while the Dodgers set a franchise record with 26 strikeouts.
“You’re going to have a hard time winning a game striking out that many times but it was a very well-pitched game,” said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. “Both sides pitched outstanding…They hit one more home run that us.”
It was a game full of records and milestones. While the Dodgers set an impressive franchise record, the Brewers recorded an ignominious one, tying the major league record for most whiffs in a game. Meanwhile, the combined 42 strikeouts between the two teams, set a National League record.
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “For our guys to punch out 26 guys, both guys, Nelson has really good stuff, changed his mix. His stuff is electric. He matched Clayton pitch for pitch, and as a baseball fan, it was really fun to watch.”
Despite both pitchers played lights out, neither got a win or decision. Nelson was magnificent, out-dueling Kershaw by striking out 11 batters and keeping the Dodgers scoreless in eight innings of play. Kershaw struck out a season high 14 batters in seven innings, but the seventh inning home run that he gave up to Domingo Santana kept him from earning a victory. He was able to achieve an important milestone though. Kershaw recorded his 2,000th strikeout on Friday night. He became the third fastest pitcher to do so, behind Pedro Martinez (1,715 1/3 innings) and the towering Randy Johnson (1,734 innings).
“It will be cool someday, I guess when you retire you look back at that stuff,” said Kershaw about the 2,000 strikeout milestone.
The Dodgers bullpen continued to their great play, providing great support for Kershaw by keeping the Brewers scoreless. Kenley Jansen (3-0) pitched two innings, and earned his third win of the season. The win leap frogged the Dodgers into first place in the NL West again, albeit a narrow half game margin over the Colorado Rockies.