Clayton Kershaw turned in arguably his best start of the 2021 season and was celebrated with a standing ovation from Los Angeles Dodgers fans while walking off the field after holding the Chicago Cubs to one run over eight innings.
However, those cheers quickly turned to boos from those in attendance at Dodger Stadium due to umpires conducting a third and final check of Kershaw for foreign substances. It was a sentiment Kershaw sense coming as umpires approached him.
“I told him, ‘Hey, you might get booed here a little bit,'” Kershaw said. “It’s part of the game now. They’re just doing their job, they’re doing what they’re asked to do. Just kind of roll with it and keep going.”
Kershaw, of course, passed all three checks and could revel in playing a big part in the Dodgers’ 7-1 win over the Chicago Cubs that came in front of Dodger Stadium opened to full capacity as it has been since the middle of the month.
“I missed it so much. Missed it so much,” Kershaw said of a normal-sized home crowd. “It’s something that I think we took for granted and then realized how special it is to have a full crowd and have Dodger fans, 56,000 people, loud and just all of it. I missed it. It’s awesome.
“I don’t ever want to go back. It was a grind. It was hard to do, so I don’t want to ever have to go back to that for lots of reasons. It’s been special the last week or so of having full stadiums.”
Kershaw logged eight innings for the first time since 2018, and his 13 strikeouts were a season high.
Kershaw critical of Girardi, MLB
Kershaw previously voiced criticism of MLB’s practice of checking players, specifically managers having the authority to request umpires examine a pitcher during the middle of inning. Kershaw specifically had pointed words for Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi.
The 33-year-old previously spoke candidly about his belief MLB’s changes to the baseball were a playing a part in the increased number of no-hitters this season.
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