On Tuesday night, Gerardo Parra hit a home run, then paused before running the bases just a little too long to suit the Dodgers. The home run followed a previous at bat by Parra in which he had to duck an errant throw from Hong-Chih Kuo. A.J. Ellis yelled “You’re better than that.” to Parra after his showboat antics when he crossed the plate. Clayton Kershaw went ballistic in the dugout and traded shouts with D’backs pitcher Daniel Hudson, who at some point asked Kershaw what he would do about the situation. “You’ll find out! You’ll find out!”, came the heated reply from Kershaw, well within earshot of hundreds of fans, players, coaches and umpires.
Last night, leading in the 6th inning 2-0, Kershaw threw a pitch several inches inside to Parra, nicking him on his elbow. Home plate umpire Bill Welke immediately ejected Clayton from the game. While Rod Barajas and Kershaw were arguing about that decision in disbelief, Don Mattingly emerged from the dugout just about as angry as he has been this season and argued the case. Soon however, he crossed a line and was also tossed from the game. It was highly unusual that Kershaw was thrown out of the game since there were no prior warnings given.
Rookie pitcher Josh Lindblom hurriedly warmed up then took over the pitching duties, determined to hold the lead for Kershaw. Lindblom made 29 pitches while striking out five batters in two innings. He was removed for pinch hitter Trent Oeltjen in the bottom of the 7th inning. Nathan Eovaldi and Kenley Jansen followed with solid performances and the Dodgers won 3-2.
Despite his ejection, Kershaw improved his standing in the race for the Cy Young Award by winning his 19th game and throwing five shutout innings and striking out five. Welke’s poor judgement robbed Kershaw of the chance to pitch more scoreless innings and build up his strikeout total, further improving his Cy Young chances.
Tony Jackson has more on this event and the reactions from Kershaw, Mattingly and umpiring chief, Tim Tschida in his column.
Today’s probable starters are Dana Eveland, 2-0, 0.60 ERA going against the Pirate’s Ross Ohlendorf, 0-2, 8.03 ERA.
This Day in Dodgers History
September 15, 1978 – In front of 47,188 fans at Dodger Stadium, Don Sutton throws a six-hitter to beat Atlanta, 5-0. With tonight’s attendance, Los Angeles becomes the first team to draw three million fans at home in major league history.