In a game billed beforehand as a tussle between two ace pitchers, Clayton Kershaw came out on top for the Los Angeles Dodgers against Jordan Zimmerman and the Washington Nationals by a final score of 9-2.
Kershaw threw seven innings and gave up just two earned runs on two hits, both of which were solo home runs by Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth. The left-hander struck out nine and stifled a Washington offense that has now scored just five runs since returning from the All-Star break.
Meanwhile, Zimmerman lasted just two innings, the shortest start of his career. All the seven runs he gave up came in the second inning, including home runs from Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez. Zimmerman also issued two walks and threw 58 pitches in what was a very disappointing outing for the right-hander who was selected for the National League All-Star team for the first time this year.
The Nationals’ poor run support for their starting pitchers also continued in this game, as after leaving 12 men on base in the game on Saturday night, they struggled at the plate. Catcher Kurt Suzuki was the only man other than Werth to collect a hit: a single in the eighth inning to left field.
Washington’s hitting coach Rick Eckstein is under pressure due to their poor offensive performance — one of the worst in the Major Leagues — and the club will be keen to find a solution as their record falls to 49-49.
However, Zimmerman’s performance will be particularly worrying for Manager Davey Johnson as the right-hander suffered his fifth, and most shocking, loss of the year.