The Astros are making a habit out of this walk-off thing.
Jason Castro launched a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 10th inning this afternoon to give the Astros a 3-2 win over the Dodgers and complete a three-game sweep. It was their fourth walk-off win in their last eight games.
The Dodgers got a heck of an effort from Clayton Kershaw, who threw eight brilliant innings while allowing just one run and striking out 10 batters. However, Carlos Correa led off the bottom of the ninth with a single against closer Kenley Jansen and eventually stole second base before Marwin Gonzalez delivered a game-tying single with two outs. Castro ended things with a one-out homer against Chris Hatcher in the 10th, which was confirmed after replay review. You can watch the game-winning homer below.
The Astros sit at 69-56 on the year, with a four-game lead over the Rangers in the American League West. The fading Angels are 5 1/2 games back. As for the 67-56 Dodgers, they have lost five straight and things are starting to look dicey. If the Giants win tonight, they’ll be just a half-game back in the NL West. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks are five games out.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw dazzled again in Saturday afternoon’s start against the Angels. The lefty tossed eight scoreless innings, limiting the Halos to two hits and a walk while striking out seven. The outing bumps his consecutive scoreless innings streak up to 37. Kenley Jansen allowed a run in the ninth inning, but held on for the save in a 3-1 victory.
Kershaw’s teammate Zack Greinke recently had his consecutive scoreless innings streak snapped by the Mets at 45 2/3. Former Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser holds the all-time record, tossing 59 consecutive scorelesss innings in 1988.
Kershaw last allowed a run on July 3 in the fourth inning against the Mets. He held them scoreless for three more innings before departing. He then tossed a shutout against the Phillies, held the Nationals scoreless over eight innings, and threw another shutout against the Mets ahead of Saturday’s start against the Angels. As Jason Lukehart of LetsGoTribe.com points out, the last pitcher to post four consecutive starts of eight or more scoreless innings was Hershiser in ’88 during his record-setting streak.
Greinke is the clear frontrunner on the NL Cy Young Award race with two months remaining. But Kershaw has covered some serious distance, now standing with a 2.37 ERA, a 0.91 WHIP, and a 192/28 K/BB ratio over 148 innings.
Yasiel Puig struck out in his first two plate appearances Saturday night against Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia, but the just-activated 24-year-old got it very right the third time around …
Puig hadn’t appeared in a game for the Dodgers since April 24 because of a lingering left hamstring strain. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw made that go-ahead run stick with eight innings of shutout ball and Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen returned from a bout with dehydration to pick up a seamless three-out save. Los Angeles will try to split this big four-game series with St. Louis on Sunday night behind Zack Greinke.
Puig said this winter that he views the Cardinals — not the Giants — as the Dodgers’ principal rival.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly revealed very little information to the media after Kenley Jansen was unavailable last night against the Rockies. Of course, Jansen has a history of heart problems, so this led to all sorts of speculation about his health. Fortunately, he’s just fine.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Jansen is available to pitch for tonight’s game against the Cardinals. He felt sick to his stomach during the game last night and was found to have high blood pressure after being checked by a doctor, so the Dodgers held him out as a precaution. As for why Mattingly didn’t elaborate on his condition after the game, he said he was respecting the player’s wishes. So that explains that.
Jansen got a late start on the season after foot surgery, but he’s been outstanding since rejoining the Dodgers’ bullpen, allowing just one hit and no walks over six scoreless innings to go along with 11 strikeouts and five saves.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who has a history of heart problems, was unavailable for Wednesday night’s game against the Rockies due to what manager Don Mattingly revealed was an issue that came up “during the game.”
However, neither Mattingly nor the Dodgers would give any further information to the media assembled in the clubhouse after the game and Jansen did not speak to the media before leaving the ballpark.
Adding to the level of concern, ESPN announcer Rick Sutcliffe tweeted the following after broadcasting the game:
Perhaps it’s nothing, but that certainly indicates Sutcliffe knows more about the situation than the Dodgers revealed to the assembled media and is very worried about Jansen’s health.
Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register described Mattingly as “evasive” when speaking to reporters, although he also notes that Jansen was healthy enough to remain in the clubhouse rather than be taken to the hospital.