Among the many, many awards and accolades that Clayton Kershaw has received in his career — Cy Youngs, no-hitters, facial hair that would make an Amish farmer jealous — his 2011 Gold Glove tends to get overlooked, or at least not noticed. On Sunday, Kershaw showed just why he earned that honor, making a terrific diving catch on a bunt attempt and turning a double play to get himself and the Dodgers out of trouble against the Brewers.
The scene: Rickie Weeks on third base, one out in the bottom of the fifth with Jean Segura at the plate and Los Angeles up 2-1. The Brewers put on a suicide squeeze play, having Segura lay down a bunt as Weeks took off on contact. Segura, however, popped his bunt attempt up into the air. The Dodgers expected the sacrifice, bringing Adrian Gonzalez in from first base, but the popup was only a few feet in front of home plate, and catcher A.J. Ellis wasn't able to react in time. Kershaw, however, came flying off the mound and laid out to make a backhanded catch with his glove.
As good as that play was, what really earns Kershaw points here was the presence of mind to throw back to third base to double up Weeks. Because the Brewers' second baseman was running on contact, he was practically at home by the time Kershaw made the catch. As Kershaw got up, he noticed Weeks standing about three feet from him, and then flipped the ball over to Juan Uribe at third, who stepped on the bag to finish the 1-5 double play.
That nifty bit of glove work helped keep the score at 2-1, a margin the Dodgers increased to 3-1 in the seventh inning with a Gonzalez RBI double. The Dodgers would go on to win 5-1.