LOS ANGELES -- When will the Pittsburgh Pirates score another run?
Better yet, will Clayton Kershaw ever give up another run?
Realistically, the answers to those questions are soon and of course.
But after Saturday, they remain to-be-determined and who knows.
What more can you say after the Pirates were blanked for the second straight night and Kershaw turned in another shutout performance in a 1-0 Los Angeles Dodgers victory at Dodger Stadium?
Kershaw picked up where he left off after a dominant complete-game shutout against the San Francisco Giants on Opening Day, limiting the Pirates to two hits and a walk and striking out nine batters in seven innings.
"My fastball wasn't great tonight," Kershaw said. "I was reaching back and didn't have a whole lot in the tank, for whatever reason. But I was able to keep them a little bit off balance and was able to get some big 3-2 strikeouts with the slider.
"They were very aggressive and trying to get their at-bats over with early, so you've just got to make quality pitches from the outset. We got some quick outs and I was able to stay in the game for a while."
Kershaw has now gone 16 innings without giving up a run to start the season and has 16 strikeouts against just one walk.
That is dominance by any measure.
But it's nothing unusual for the Pirates, who were shutout 3-0 by Zack Greinke on Friday and now have just six runs in their first five games.
Considering the Dodgers' embarrassment of riches in their rotation -- they came in with two shutout victories, led the majors with a 1.00 team ERA and were fourth with a 1.77 opponents' batting average -- it just wasn't a good matchup for light-hitting Pittsburgh.
It didn't help that the Pirates had two runners -- Staling Marte and Russell Martin -- get thrown out running the bases.
"Those are mistakes you don't want to make when you're not swinging the bats and we made them," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "We paid for them. Who knows what would have happened, but they didn't help our cause."
Nevertheless, the Pirates are not overreacting.
"It's game (five), there's a long way to do," Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen said. "No need to hit the panic button after (five) games. Stay positive and keep going. It's not like we're getting beat 15-0. We're just not manufacturing the runs we want to manufacture. In time, that will happen."
Just not against two pitchers like Greinke and Kershaw.
How deep is the Dodgers' pitching?
On Saturday, they dealt starter Aaron Harang and cash considerations to Colorado for veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez. Harang was an odd-man-out in the LA rotation and started the season pitching out of the bullpen.
Hernandez will compete with Tim Federowicz for the backup catcher's spot behind A.J. Ellis.
It's not that the Dodgers wanted to get rid of Harang. They just don't have any room for him considering their starter supply runs eight men deep.
It's good the Dodgers can pitch, because outside of leadoff man Carl Crawford, they aren't hitting much.
Crawford was responsible for the only run of the game in the third inning, reaching base on a single, stealing second base and scoring on a single by Mark Ellis.
It was Crawford's second stolen base of the game after walking in the first, and he has been nothing short of an on-base machine through the first five games. His two hits raised his batting average to .438.
The problem is, the big bats behind him -- Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier -- have yet to get untracked.
Kemp, in particular, has been mired in a funk the first five games, coming in with just one hit in his first 14 at-bats before going hitless in four at-bats Saturday, including three more strikeouts. Kemp is now batting .056.
Give credit to Pirates starter A.J. Burnett, who gave up four hits and four walks while striking out nine in 5 1/3 innings, but the overanxious and out-of-rhythm Dodgers also helped him out.
Adrian Gonzalez opened the eighth with a double to center field, but Ethier popped out and Luis Cruz and Justin Sellers both struck out.
That left it up to closer Brandon League to finish the Pirates off, which he did by getting McCutchen to ground out to second to end the game.
And with Kershaw on top of his game, the Dodgers had their second straight shutout.
"I'm trying not to let them score any runs regardless if we're winning 10-0 or 1-0," Kershaw said, "So my philosophy and the way I'm trying to pitch doesn't change."