Wednesday, was the night many waited for including the family of Clayton Kershaw, the presentation of his 2011 Cy Young Award. In attendance were also Clayton Kershaw’s wife Ellen and family, along with former Cy Young winner Fernando Valenzuela. Valenzuela received a much deserved standing ovation from the Dodger fan crowd, as did Kershaw when he raised his award up in celebratory fashion.
The 27 year old right hander Chad Billingsley was lights out the first two innings, Pirates pitcher Erik Bedard also kept the Dodgers scoreless.
In the third inning Billingsley seemed to lose some focus as he gave up a home run to Clint Barmes out in left field for the Pirates to take the early 1-0. Billinsley seem to maintain his composer enough to get out of the inning without any further damage.
Bedard walked M Ellis, allowed Matt Kemp to single to second causing Ellis to move to second base. Juan Rivera steps up and hits a big single causing Ellis to score and tie the game 1-1.
The Dodgers continue to give Billingsley more run support as Kemp singled to left center off Bedard in the sixth inning. Rivera reached on an infield single moving Kemp to second. Andre Either slugged an RBI single, causing Kemp to score and capture the lead 2-1.
In the eight inning Tony Watson came in relieve, but quickly gave a double to Gordon. Watson was replaced by Meek who didn’t couldn’t be worse as he gave up hits to Rivera and Tony Gywnn Jr to extend the Dodger lead 4-1.
Guerra relieved Jensen in the ninth to record the save and secure the victory for the Dodgers. Billingsley struck out five, no walks and one home run to remain perfect at 2-0.
Andre Either spoke about the solid performance of his pitcher, “He really trusts his stuff. He’s pounding the strike zone and making guys miss. And when he gets in a jam, he figures out a way to get out of it — either with a big double-play ball or by forcing contact with a guy and coming out on top. It’s nice to play defense behind him because there’s not too many balls hit to you.”
Bedard gave up two runs and eight hits in five-plus innings and only struck out three in the loss. He has yet to win a game this season, after suffering his first loss at the hands of Roy Halladay.
*50 years ago the Dodgers played their very first night game in Dodger Stadium. Jim Gilliam hit the first home run on April 11, 1962.