The Dodgers beat the Rays on Saturday but was by no means easy. Clayton Kershaw was staked to a 3-0 lead over the first three and a half innings before he started losing his command in the bottom of the fourth inning. He gave up two runs in that frame and two more in the next before exiting after 5.
It was uncharacteristic for the future Hall of Famer. It’s left him frustrated and seeking answers.
“My command just became really inconsistent. It’s frustrating. It’s not really something I’m used to having to struggle with.” Kershaw said after LA’s 6-5 win. “Walking guys on four pitches to start innings, falling behind — just not something I’m used to doing and don’t want to get used to doing. I need to figure it out. Whether it’s mental — I need to focus better — or mechanical I’m not sure, but I need to go back to the drawing board to figure it out. You can’t say enough good things about our offense, and our bullpen picked me up today. So now it’s my job, the starters’ job to get going.”Via SNLA
For Kershaw, it was his third uncharacteristic start in a row. He’s allowed 10 runs over his last 12.2 innings and followed up his NL Pitcher of the Month April with an unsightly 5.55 ERA in May.
For what it’s worth, Clayton looked good over the first three innings, striking out 4 while allowing just 3 base runners. Then it seems like he started losing it. After a week where he flew home to Texas for his mother’s funeral service and threw his usual between starts bullpen session one day before his start against the Rays, the man with the legendary routine had his routine thrown off.
It’s also worth crediting the Rays’ offense, which has been the best in baseball up to this point in the season. Dave Roberts did just that.
“They’re gonna make adjustments, and when you do make mistakes, they’re apt to take advantage of them. Not only do they slug, there’s bat to ball, too. Those are, as an opponent, the two worst combos.”
Kershaw will get an extra day between starts before facing the Yankees at Dodger Stadium next weekend.
Which Current Dodger Would Make the Best General Manager?
In a recent conversation with Mookie Betts on Bleacher Report’s BR Live, Clayton Kershaw revealed his pick for which current Dodger would make the best GM for a baseball team. Unsurprisingly, he went with one of his favorite baseball minds on the team, his long time catcher Austin Barnes.
“Maybe Barnesy. Yeah, I think Barnesy might be the best GM. I think he’s gonna be probably the guy that’s not talking to the media. He’s gonna be the evaluator, get stuff done guy. I think he could do it. I think he’d be good at it.”Via BR Live