The Dodgers put up some 9 runs against a lacklustre Giants team but Clayton Kershaw only needed 2 of them as he gave up just one run to clinch his MLB leading 21st win and to clinch the NL West for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The ace went 8 innings and threw a season high 117 pitches and in doing so lowered his Major League leading ERA to 1.77. Amazing.
The biggest story of the night however for me is the pitcher in the 9th inning for LA, Brian Wilson. Not because it was his former team that he finished off against and showed who’s boss but also because it is very obvious that the right handed ex closer has been out of touch for the season.
Brian was one of the Dodgers’ most reliable pitchers last year with a 0.66 ERA, going 2-1 and only giving up 1 earned run in 18 games that he pitched. This year however it is a different story, he has struggled on the mound, going 2-4 with a 4.82 ERA and hasn’t looked comfortable once throwing his stuff.
Coming into pitch the 9th inning in an NL West clinching game against his former team must have done wonders for his confidence and his ability going into the post season. Perhaps if the Dodgers didn’t add on their 4 runs in the 8th inning and only had the 5-1 lead it would have been more sincere but with Kenley Jansen already closing in the 3 games previous it was needed for someone else to help and the set up man from the start of the year was the pick.
There was a lot of debate going on Twitter about if he should have been pitching after giving up a double on his first pitch of the night but he showed everyone wrong sitting down the next 3 batters for the end of the game.
Yes, I was nervous to see him warm up with only a 4 run lead as who knows what would happen with this team, like Vin Scully says, “With the Dodgers nothing ever comes easy.” And something would have scared everyone had he come in with the 5-1 advantage.
It is very clear to see, judging by the personality of the number 00 that he loves the pressure, he has pitched in two World Series wins and has been very good doing so for the Giants. So with a title on the line and a 4 run lead in the bag I am sure he wouldn’t have let Kershaw’s 21st win go to waste and he didn’t, even though the insurance runs helped out.
Going into October now for him and the team I am sure this one inning of work has helped his confidence and Mattingly’s in him and knowing that the coach will pick him with the game on the line does wonders for anyone, especially if they are struggling.
It wasn’t as if Donnie picked him because of the 8 run lead either, he was warming up from the 7th inning when Clayton looked to be getting tired and seemed to always be on the coach’s mind, it is just good he got the job for that clinching inning.
I am sure now he, along with the other 24 boys that get picked can’t wait for October and neither can I.