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20 September 2017, 12:50 | Nina Perez
Stephen Brashear Getty Images
PHILADELPHIA - With baseball headed to an all-time high in home runs this season, a lot of players are doing things they have never done before. Unfortunately, Kershaw gave up his first ever grand slam in the 6th and that would be all the Phillies needed to win the game. In the bottom of the sixth inning, trailing 2-0, the Phillies loaded the bases on a Ty Kelly walk, a Freddy Galvis single, and a Rhys Hoskins walk, bringing up Altherr. Chris Taylor, Justin Turner and Curtis Granderson all hit solo home runs for Los Angeles. But the thing I liked about him is he looked like he was eager to go right after the hitters, even when he gave up the home run, he didn't back off.
Though his fastball velocity is down a hair and he is throwing it less than half the time for the first time in his career, Kershaw's internal numbers - his strikeout rate, fly-ball rate, hard-hit rate and the like - are all within range of normal for his career.
L.A. starting pitcher #Clayton Kershaw seemed to have the game in hand for his team after the early run support. Running hard all the way - "I thought it was going to be a deep flyout, I thought I got under it too much", he said - Taylor stepped on second as the ball first bounced on the outfield grass after the insane carom.
"We got ahead early, but those guys hung in there and got the big hit when they needed it", Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts told reporters after the game.
"But again, he could have been under a 2.00 tonight".
"You try to make it just another game, but deep down you know it's really not because of how good he is and how good he's been over the years", Altherr said.
All it took was one bad pitch to knock Kershaw out of the company of Jim Palmer in the no-career slam club and sour his mood for the evening. "In that sixth inning, that leadoff walk got him, and then another walk".
Kershaw is 17-4 with a 2.26 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP and 194 strikeouts in 163 innings this season, so the term "struggling" is all relative.
Nick Pivetta the giant-killer helped the Phillies to a series-opening victory last night in a game the Phillies had no business winning. Altherr pounded it to the upper deck in left field for his second career grand slam.
Altherr was all over a 1-and-1 slider from Kershaw, driving it into the seats for the grand slam.
Since returning from the disabled list, Kershaw has started four games and has shown a couple of signs of being human.
"We talked about it and it was the four to six starts to get ready for the postseason".
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