It’s damn hard to root against Clayton Kershaw.
Sure, at the beginning, you look for a win. You tell yourself that maybe he’ll have a bad day; maybe we’ll be able to score some runs.
Then you realize, it’s Clayton Freakin’ Kershaw, and he doesn’t give up runs.
Within two batters in the bottom of the first, it was clear that Bartolo didn’t have it. By the end of the inning, that fact had become clear in abundance. to his credit, he stuck around for five innings and managed to avoid passing over seven mop-up innings to the bullpen, but all the same, he wasn’t at his best.
Ah, hell, I’ll take it. Even today, you could tell that he was out there for the fun of it, fully aware that you win some and you lose some, determined to do his best and nothing more. You can’t ask for anything more than that.
Sean Gilmartin, too — after throwing 92 pitches Saturday, and pitching, in effect, on regular rest, threw three scoreless innings. Sean Gilmartin, I must say, looks legit. You don’t just run into legitimate arms coming out of the minors that often — if this is for real, it’s a gift, and we’ll cherish it as such.
Gilmartin also spared Terry the necessity of going to any of his other relievers, which was a shame, since I was quite looking forward to Hansel Robles or Addison Reed against Chase Utley. There are no words to describe Utley right now — he’s a fake and a phony, undeserving of another hit the rest of his career and completely unworthy of playing major league baseball. I thought we’d drill him eventually; maybe, when the Dodgers come to town in a few weeks, we will. With luck, Bartolo won’t be on the mound for that.
And the offense…what can you say? Certainly not much. Sure, we’ve split the previous two games, but all of our runs those 18 innings have come off the bat of Noah Syndergaard. Not that I expect this to continue, obviously: we’re going through a bad offensive stretch, which happens to everyone. But that doesn’t make it fun when it happens to you.
We were up against Clayton Kershaw tonight, perhaps the best pitcher of the century so far, and as much as we told ourselves we had a shot, we never really came close. And hell, I don’t mind. At midnight in a game in the middle of May, it’s hard to root against greatness, even if it is pitching against you.