Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Clayton Kershaw Silences Nats Offense

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Jul 18, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) throws to the Washington Nationals during the third inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Nats Offense Mounts Nothing Against Kershaw

Starting in yesterday’s game, the Washington Nationals have arguably one of their toughest stretches of the season these next few days. Without some of their mainstay offensive pieces, they went up against Kershaw, and now have to go up against Zack Greinke, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard. If yesterday was any indication, offense is going to be tough to come by these next few days.

In his last two games, Kershaw has thrown 17 innings, given up 11 hits, struck out 27 batters, and has not walked anyone. Kershaw had his best stuff today, when you consider the amount of swings and misses he was able to get against Nats hitters:

The only three Nationals to have hits against Kershaw were Clint Robinson (single in the second), Doug Fister (single in the third), and Danny Espinosa (single in the sixth). In fact, the best swing of the day against the 27-year-old left-hander was by Ian Desmond. Desmond flew out to the warning track in left field to end the bottom of the seventh inning.

The most dominant pitch for Kershaw yesterday was his breaking ball. According to Brooks Baseball, 14 of his 20 breaking balls went for strikes. Most of the strikeouts that the former MVP had was either with his curveball or his slider.

Even though the Nats did not score any runs against Kershaw, give Matt Williams credit for putting Yunel Escobar behind Bryce Harper in the batting order to prevent the Dodgers from intentionally walking Harper.

Next: Espinosa Leaves Game Early