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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Articles tagged: Clayton Kershaw

Dodgers fans boo Dave Roberts for removing Kershaw from shutout

Clayton Kershaw

The only time any negative sentiment crept into Dodger Stadium on Friday night was when manager Dave Roberts removed Clayton Kershaw from the game.

Kershaw delivered one of the best postseason performances of his career, going eight innings of two-hit shutout ball in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves. Kershaw was cruising and had only thrown 85 pitches, so Roberts sent him out for the top of the 9th inning (after already letting him bat in the bottom of the 7th).

When Atlanta countered with a right-handed hitting pinch-hitter, Roberts came out and pulled Kershaw in favor of closer Kenley Jansen. That’s when the fans in Los Angeles booed Roberts.

The fans had a few good reasons to boo. One, Kershaw was not laboring and seemingly could have easily closed out the game. Two, Jansen has been shaky, and they didn’t want to see him ruin Kershaw’s masterpiece.

Jansen gave up a hit but closed out the game for the save in a 3-0 win. The Dodgers now lead the series 2-0 and seem to be in better shape than any other NL team after getting two incredible starts to take any pressure off their bullpens.

Clayton Kershaw explains his lack of strikeouts in unusual outing

Clayton Kershaw

Los Angeles Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw allowed two runs on six hits over six innings in a Wednesday loss to the Oakland Athletics. And most surprisingly of all, he struck out just one batter.

The lone strikeout was a season-low for Kershaw, but perhaps even more odd than that was the All-Star managed to get only four swinging strikes. Still, it was enough to earn his seventh consecutive quality start.

It was just the third time in Kershaw’s career that he struck out fewer than two batters and over eight years since the last time he had that sort of strikeout futility. It was also the longest Kershaw had gone into a start (4 1/3 innings) without recording a strikeout in his career (307 career starts).

After the game, Kershaw acknowledged that he got through with nothing but “smoke and mirrors.”

“I didn’t have much of anything tonight. It was a little bit of smoke and mirrors,” Kershaw told the Orange County Register. “I was getting ahead of guys but especially in that 4th inning when they scored – a lot of hits with 2 strikes there. I didn’t really have those put-away pitches.”

Kershaw’s (5-5) next start is scheduled for Monday, August 13 against the San Francisco Giants.

10 current players who are on their way to the Hall of Fame

Clayton Kershaw no-hitter

As six players are inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, it’s easy to look around the current crop of active players and ask which of them will someday receive the same honor. There are many players who are on the right path, but the road to Cooperstown is filled with players who looked like future Hall of Famers before their careers took turns for the worse.

Here is a list of ten active MLB players who look to be on the right track to someday be enshrined in Cooperstown.

Adrian Beltre, Rangers

Beltre’s late-career revival, particularly during his Texas Rangers years, should send him to Cooperstown. A .287 career hitter, he has already surpassed 3,000 hits. He may fall just short of 500 home runs, but he had roughly a decade at the very top of the game. He is a five-time Gold Glover and recognized as one of the better defenders in the game. From 2010 through 2017, he hit .310 and averaged over 30 home runs per season. That’s a lengthy and excellent peak, and it came years after his 48-homer, near MVP season in 2004 with the Dodgers.

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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.

Dodgers C says Clayton Kershaw looked like his old self

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw may have come away from Thursday’s game against the Chicago Cubs with a no-decision instead of a win, but there was some good news from his start.

Kershaw was making his second start since being activated from the disabled list by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He allowed just one run on four hits over five innings while striking out six. Kershaw departed with a 3-1 lead, but Walker Buehler and Erik Goeddel struggled in relief and the Dodgers lost 11-5.

After the game, Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes said Kershaw looked like his old self.

That’s a great sign for the Dodgers. Despite all their injuries and struggles to start the season, they’ve finally come around in June and are now above .500 for the season. At 43-37, they’re in the wild-card race and not far behind the Arizona Diamondbacks for second in the NL West. Kershaw being back to his old form will help them continue to push for a playoff spot.

Clayton Kershaw to make rehab start in minors before returning

Clayton Kershaw

Clay Kershaw has pitched in only one game since the start of May as he rehabs from a back injury, but it sounds like the left-hander is finally on the verge of making his return.

On Tuesday, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters that Kershaw is going to make a start with the team’s Triple-A affiliate on Saturday before rejoining the rotation next week if all goes well.

Roberts had said Monday that the plan for Kershaw was either to make a minor league rehab start of jump straight to pitching for the Dodgers this weekend, but it appears the team has decided to play it safe.

The Dodgers have battled their way back to above .500 on the year and are just two games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West. Things should continue to trend upward when Kershaw returns.

Clayton Kershaw getting close to Dodgers return

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw is ready to get back on the mound and begin his journey back to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Kershaw is set to throw a simulated game during the middle of next week and, if there are no setbacks, the next step will be a rehab start in the minor leagues. If that goes well, Kershaw could be back on the major league roster in about two weeks.

As long as nothing goes wrong, Kershaw should be back right around or perhaps a little earlier than initially anticipated. The Dodgers are 10-2 in June, so they haven’t been significantly hindered by his absence, and his return should only help them as they look to return to the top of the NL West.