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LA boosts 2019 run total to 844, setting a record

After big night, Dodgers have most runs in a season since moving to LA
@kengurnick
September 21, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers earned season win No. 99 Friday night, a 12-5 victory over the Rockies, with the dozen runs bringing their 2019 total to 844, breaking a Los Angeles record that had stood since 1962. A team that wins like this, and scores runs like this, can

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers earned season win No. 99 Friday night, a 12-5 victory over the Rockies, with the dozen runs bringing their 2019 total to 844, breaking a Los Angeles record that had stood since 1962.

A team that wins like this, and scores runs like this, can paper over flaws like the three homers that winning starter Clayton Kershaw allowed.

Box score

With the victory, Kershaw improved to 15-5, but this year, that record is glossy a little more because the supporting offense is dominant and a little less because the pitcher is. Kershaw’s ERA is 3.15, high for him, and it’s 5.24 over his last six starts.

But Kershaw is a bit old school. The only stat he’s ever talked about is team wins, no matter how much changes with the way the game is played.

“This year, on this team right now, you’ve got a pretty good chance of winning the game if you keep it to even four runs,” said Kershaw, who allowed four runs in six innings. “It’s a great feeling.”

Kershaw’s beginning was not so great, as he gave up back-to-back home runs to Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon in the first inning. He’s allowed first-inning home runs in four of his last six starts. Of the career-high 27 homers Kershaw has allowed this year, 10 have been hit in the first, contributing to a 6.00 first-inning ERA.

“Not a lot of good tonight on my part,” Kershaw said. “Pretty bad all around. Command, stuff-wise, crispness – everything wasn’t very good. Don’t know why, but need to get better. Got one more to figure it out before the real thing gets going. Thankful for that.”

The real thing, of course, is the postseason, which triggers that nagging narrative: the lack of a ring on an otherwise epic resume.

Manager Dave Roberts -- ejected for the first time this year while arguing a strike call just before the Dodgers erupted for a seven-run fourth inning – was asked if he’s concerned that Kershaw is tailing off at the worst possible time.

“I’m not,” Roberts said. “With somebody else, you might. But with Clayton, when the bell rings, and that’s the postseason, he’s going to be locked and loaded. If he’s feeling strong, I’ll trust the result will be there. Yeah, he’s given up solo homers. But when he needs to limit damage, he does that. When he needs to make a pitch, he does that. Clayton’s going to be more than fine.”

Kershaw said grinding through a game like this is a little easier knowing that the bats can pick him up.

“What else are you going to do?” Kershaw said. “You’ve got to realize we’re on a great team and we’re going to continue to score runs, I know we’re going to score runs. Just try to minimize the best you can, not thinking about what’s not going right. Try to focus on the next pitch the best you can."

On this night, the offense definitely was more than fine. Cody Bellinger’s power has sagged, Justin Turner has been out for almost two weeks with an ankle sprain (he walked as a pinch-hitter without swinging at a pitch) and rookie catcher Will Smith is slumping.

But the lineup is long. A.J. Pollock continued his hot second half with a three-run homer. Corey Seager also homered. Max Muncy drove in three runs before leaving with a tight quad (his availability for Saturday undetermined, Roberts said). Seven Dodgers drove in runs.

There’s plenty of entertainment going on. That’s why another sellout crowd added up to a single-season Dodger Stadium record attendance of 3,875,656, with two home games remaining.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.