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Dodgers: MLB Analyst Blames Clayton Kershaw For Not Finishing Perfect Game

You had to know that this was coming after Walker Buehler pitched a complete game shutout. The Dodgers hurler went the full 9 innings and threw 108 pitches en route to the first complete game of the year in baseball. Unfortuantely for Dave Roberts, that comes after the outrage that Clayton Kershaw didn’t get to finish his perfect game. 

Keep in mind, this was Buehler’s 4th start of the season versus Kershaw’s first start. He was also coming off of an arm injury in 2021 that ended his season. But despite that, the Dodgers hurler came under fire in a few different ways. 

That includes MLB Network’s Chris Russo. He spoke about Kershaw after Buehler’s complete game, and he didn’t have many nice things to say. He pointed out that too much of the blame has fallen onto the Dodgers skipper when it should have been on Kersh. 

“The idea that Dave Roberts is the guy that takes the hit for Kershaw is a bunch of nonsense. Because if Kershaw told Dave Roberts ‘I got a perfect game, I’m in my mid-30s, I’m not going to be around forever, there’s twenty-something in the history of the sport, I want the ball’ … he didn’t even stop Buehler from going out there to pitch the 9th inning.”

That’s certainly a take…a bad one, but a take nonetheless. It’s reasonable to look back to Kershaw’s almost Perfect Game after Buehler was able to go the full 9 and eclipse 100 pitches. But with the shortened Spring Training and Kershaw’s arm health, the argument doesn’t make any sense. Especially given the difference in the number of starts. 

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Everyone is going to have an opinion, and it’s not going to go away anytime soon. Dodgers fans wanted that perfect game, and so did Kershaw. But placing the blame on him is such a lazy way to approach it. 

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  1. If any team in baseball understands what happens when a pitcher pushes his arm too far, it is the Dodgers. Yes, Sandy Koufax retired 55 years ago. But we all remember him having to soak his arm in a tub of ice for hours after each start. He was superhuman for a decade and then it all stopped. And I suspect there is not a day in which his arm doesn’t remind him of that effort. As a fan did I want Kershaw to pitch a perfect game? Absolutely, but it’s not my call. Nor is it Chris Russo’s. I like the Mad Dog, none of us has the right to demand a pitcher risk permanent damage for our amusement.

  2. The message is cruel but not totally wrong. Kershaw should have been assertive about continuing and Roberts should have instead explained his concerns but let Kershaw decide, but micro-managing is a feature of Robert’s flawed management skills. After witnessing what happened to Kershaw’s no-hit bid in Minnesota, Buehler decided he was NOT leaving the game and made it clear he was not leaving without a fight Good for him.

  3. I totally disagree. Kershaw is coming off a serious injury that cost him the play-offs & possibly cost the team a 2nd World Series Championship w/his absence. They need him for the entire year! I don’t see any off us pitching @ the major league level or know what he went through or how he feels right now. It’s easy to talk a good game.

    1. I agree with you sir. Russo is a loud mouth a**hole. People need to look at Kershaw’s injury history the past few years. He knows what is expected of him and that is pitching into October.

  4. dave ran his pitch counts over 100 last year and that pushed kershaw to the injured list. with claytons mileage its better if hes utilized like a rich hill at this stage career wise a #5 starter 5 inning outings. really a #5 spot starter and missing some starts would be better and try to have him at 100% for october. for now the pitching situation is messy. i would expect that the young pitchers will be coming along and getting warmed up later in the season. then we can reassess if the team is within range of a playoff birth. and if its worth it from a team health perspective to try and make the push for a title. one thing that has to be assessed is that other teams are beginning to respond and adapt to the dodgers. so the game is tougher now also because of the rule changes. then theres the question of betts muncys and j.t.’s averages hovering well below .200 …. theyve turned into bellinger. the teams a mess. they went overboard on hitting and oversigning by signing betts to 12 years and overpaying -plus adding price. then they went on full tilt when they signed bauer. and then they fully self annihilated by burning out the entire team for years to come by chasing frisco at full speed in 2021. theyre just going to have to reset the team and move some guys off the roster. and maybe trade bellinger and lux. theyve gotta hit the reset button because they totally screwed up. and theyre stuck with roberts and his mind. thats a surefire recipe for total disaster. then theyre extremely slow at the helm for understanding what theyre doing wrong. its not going to get fixed this year. maybe later in the year some of those farm hands and rookies will start to appear and there maybe a ray or two of hope might appear. but dont hold your breath hoping.

  5. Russo is a tool. A New York tool at that. The fact you are now quoting him here is very distressing too. His “opinions” carry zero weight and what he thinks of any team outside of the eastern time zone equals squat.

    If Kershaw begged out of that game, that’s indeed on him. Nobody can hold it against him though if he simply felt he wasn’t physically up to it. I’m actually glad he was honest with Roberts about how he felt at that moment – if that was what really happened. Honestly, we should all still be more upset at the Rich Hill possible “perfecto” than this one. I remember Hill being in a super bad mood after he was taken out…by Roberts. He made no bones about being able to, and wanting to, keep going. Much different from this one. Completely.

    Yes, it was possibly an historic accomplishment that we lost out on, but to me keeping Kershaw in his best shape and, hopefully, eventually hanging another WS flag is more important than anything else.

  6. Kershaw put the team first. The Dodgers won the game, He wasn’t injured. End of story!!!

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