Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers open the 2023 MLB campaign at home on Thursday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the star pitcher spoke on the MLB's new pitch clock ahead of Opening Day.
“How fast was that game today?” Kershaw remarked following his final Grapefruit League start on Sunday. “That was nuts.”
Kershaw looked like himself in his final tune-up before the regular season, striking out Mike Trout three times as the Dodgers defeated the Los Angeles Angels 3-0 in the Freeway Series kickoff.
“I think we're used to it now,” Kershaw continued about the new rule. “I think it's getting what we want. I mean, the game today was two hours and whatever minutes. I mean, hopefully they sell enough beer.”
The ace is about to start his 16th season, and he looked excellent on Sunday, going six innings while allowing just three hits, no walks and striking out seven over 74 pitches.
“Overall it was definitely better than it has been,” he said about his final Spring Training start. “Slider was definitely better. I threw some bad ones, too. But overall the consistency was better with it. We got some swings and misses tonight finally on it. And fastball command was better. So overall definitely a good step forward for me.”
The slider was humming for Kershaw; the Angels were 1-for-12 with five strikeouts against it. The 35-year-old had some final thoughts regarding the pitch clock, but as every pitcher is playing with the same rules, he doesn't see it being a problem, even in big games.
“It's gonna be the same, it's just gonna be more frustrating when you get an infraction in a big moment. You don't want playoff games decided by that, you don't want big important games down the stretch, you don't want any games decided by that, I don't think we're gonna get any grace though, so, we just gotta figure it out.”
“Overall, a good step forward for me, and it's time to go now,” Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw concluded with Opening Day just three sleeps away.