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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Clayton Kershaw says facing former catcher was ‘miserable’

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw threw six scoreless innings and allowed just two hits in an 8-2 win over the San Diego Padres Monday night, but there were two outs in the game that the left-hander took no pleasure in recording.

For the first time in their careers, Kershaw and A.J. Ellis — now a backup catcher for the Padres — faced each other in competition. Ellis has caught more of Kershaw’s starts than any other catcher, and Kershaw said it was “miserable” having to pitch against him.

“That was miserable,” he said, via Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register. “I’ve faced a lot of ex-teammates and friends in this game. But probably nobody that I have the history I have with A.J. We both kind of decided that, hopefully, that was the last time we have to do that.”

As Plunkett notes, Kershaw on Monday became the 13th pitcher in Los Angeles Dodgers history to surpass the 2,000-inning mark for his career. Ellis caught 829 of those innings, and both players made their debut with the Dodgers in 2008. Ellis went 0-for-2 with a ground out and a fly out against Kershaw.

The bond between a pitcher and catcher has a tendency to be strong, and that is especially true when the combo has enjoyed as much success together as Kershaw and Ellis.

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