Clayton Kershaw throws shortest outing of career in disaster start for Dodgers vs. Cubs
They say nothing beats a day game at Wrigley Field. After a disastrous, four-run, 39-pitch first inning, however, Los Angeles Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw might not feel the same.
Less than 24 hours after the defending World Series Champions lost their young phenom Dustin May to season-ending Tommy John surgery, the Dodgers linchpin delivered an outing that was not only the shortest outing of his career but, an effort that may very well be the worst regular-season performance he’s ever given.
Dodger fans might want to avert their eyes before looking at this stat line, it’s not pretty (Via Jorge Castillo of the LA Times):
Clayton Kershaw’s line: 1 IP, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. He threw 39 pitches and didn’t get much help from his defense. It goes down as the shortest start of his career.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) May 4, 2021
While Kershaw had endured a four-run first inning once before in his illustrious career–against the Washington Nationals in 2008 when he was 20-years old–today’s effort marks the first the former Cy Young award winner failed to make it into the second inning. Though he likely could have continued in the game against the Cubs, Kershaw’s already high pitch-count, coupled with May’s injury shortening the Dodgers rotation, prompted manager Dave Roberts to remove the starter early, in the hope that he could once again take the mound on short-rest against the Los Angeles Angels this weekend.
However, regardless of the early hook, Kershaw’s outing had few bright spots that might have indicated a change in fortune.
With his pitches lacking the crisp movement that has characterized the pitcher’s repertoire over the last decade, Cubs hitters teed up Kershaw’s offerings, sparking what had been a dormant Chicago offense. To make matters worse, not only did Los Angeles’ defense allow an error that prolonged the inning, but the team once again failed to chip into the lead despite having runners in scoring position; a recurring theme for the Dodgers over the last two weeks.
The good news for LA is that things can only get better after such a disastrous start, at least that’s the thought.