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You can't win if you don't score...or get pitchers out: Dodgers' Kershaw shuts out Tigers, 4-0

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Final - 6.20.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit Tigers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
Los Angeles Dodgers 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 X 4 9 0
WP: Clayton Kershaw (7 - 3)
LP: Brad Penny (5 - 6)

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BOX

KEY STAT

P Clayton Kershaw: 1-3, 2 RBI, 1 BB.

Kershaw's night at the plate was indicative of the Tigers inability to get National League pitchers out on this road trip. In four games, the opposing pitchers have a pair of bases-loaded singles, three walks, and five RBI in four games.

Ridiculous.

You'd think National League teams would start batting their pitchers cleanup against the Tigers. Hell, the Tigers seem to pitch around them like they're Babe Ruth reincarnated.

KEY PLAY

Juan Uribe homered in the 1st inning, giving Kershaw and the Dodgers all the runs they would need.

DUMB PLAY

With the game still in doubt, in the 3rd inning of a 1-0 game, Ryan Raburn got himself picked off of 3rd base by Dodgers catcher Dioner Navarro, ending the Tigers' only real scoring threat.

We already knew Raburn is no Kershaw at the plate. Turns out Kershaw is a batter base runner too!

KEY THOUGHTS

It was Kershaw's night. The Dodgers' starter threw a two hit, 11 K, complete game shutout, dominating the Tigers. An ace showed up with his ace stuff. Sometimes that happens...just ask any team having to face Justin Verlander.

Brad Penny had a quality start for the Tigers (6 IP. 7 H, 2 R), but got no run support. Penny deserved better.

Daniel Schlereth relieved Penny. Yes, it went just as you would expect. He walked the lead off man in the 7th. Not cool. Schlereth got out of trouble thanks to Victor Martinez throwing out Dee Gordon stealing.

But Jim Leyland must have felt like living dangerously, sending Schlereth back out for the 8th. The lefty wasn't so lucky this time around. As usual, he walked the lead off man. The Dodgers went on to load the bases, so Joaquin Benoit had to come in and try to clean up Schlereth's mess. But Kershaw got his bat on a good pitch (low and inside), grounding it through the hole in the right side of the infield. If the game wasn't over beforehand, it was when it became apparent Schlereth couldn't throw strikes...again.

I'll give Leyland, who was asked about him in the post game, the final say on Schlereth:

"You got to throw your fastball for strikes. You can't, then you got issues."

Schlereth's got issues.

But it's all moot, because Kershaw was lights out. If the Dodgers could get one run, the Tigers weren't going to beat him. The Dodgers did, and the Tigers didn't.

On the bright side, both the Indians and White Sox lost. No changes in the standings tonight. The Tigers remain one game back in the Central.

The only good thing about tonight's game? Those of you with one of the MLB TV/internet packages got to hear the great Vin Scully call the the game on the Dodgers' feed.

As a diehard American League fan, I don't enjoy at all the Senior Circuit's style of baseball. The games are slow, the strategy is overrated (OMG, a double switch!) and pitchers batting is as silly as letting NFL place kickers play every down as running backs.

Unless those pitchers are facing the Tigers, of course.