There were legitimate reasons to hype up Monday’s matchup between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks, and just about all of them had to do with who was pitching.
Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke got the nods, two of the best pitches in this decade of baseball and former teammates to boot.
To no shock, both have been great in the 2019 season.
To shock, both combined to give up seven runs through two innings on Monday night.
That included Greinke’s first at-bat in the second inning, a plate appearance in which he hit the third pitch he saw 384 feet to left for a 4-3 D-backs lead.
The odds dramatically swung over the course of a half-hour because of the start, when the Dodgers scored three runs off Greinke in the first inning.
Giving Kershaw a three-run cushion is never wise, but Christian Walker made up for it in the bottom half with the third homer of his career off Kershaw, this one of the three-run variety to tie the game.
In Kershaw’s 12-year career, the most homers hit off him by an individual is a mark of four by Adam Dunn (13 at-bats). Yes, that’s even counting terrific hitters like Nolan Arenado (55 at-bats, three homers) and Buster Posey (111 at-bats, three homers) that have had their fair share of chances at Kershaw.
Walker has hit those three homers in only six at-bats against Kershaw.