Clayton Kershaw lost his mother, Marianne Tombaugh, on May 13, but he remained with the Los Angeles Dodgers to make his next two starts against the Minnesota Twins, which came three days later, and the St. Louis Cardinals at the beginning of the week.
Following that start against the Cardinals, Kershaw was placed on the bereavement list to attend his mother’s funeral services. He was then activated on Friday before his scheduled start in the middle game of the series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Kershaw continued to prepare for his outing while he was away from the team, but he was not able to put in the same preparation he would normally. Still, the future Hall of Famer does not think it will have a significant impact, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“Yeah, that was the one thing I didn’t do at home,” he said. “I haven’t thrown bullpens before (and then started). It’s not a big deal.”
Prior to his time on the bereavement list, Kershaw had his two worst starts of the season. The 35-year-old threw just four innings against the Twins and followed that up with 3.2 innings against the Cardinals.
His outing at Busch Stadium marked the shortest start the southpaw has made since 2021 and it was the first time Kershaw made back-to-back starts of four innings or fewer since 2009.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts suggested fatigue was an issue, but Kershaw attributed those struggles to not pitching well and feels fully ready to face the Rays:
“Just didn’t pitch good,” he said. “I feel great. Excited to pitch tomorrow. Good to be back. … Right where I need to be.”
Kershaw has gone 6-4 with a 2.98 ERA, 3.29 FIP, 1.10 WHIP and has 69 strikeouts in 57.1 innings pitched across 10 starts so far this season. He was named National League Pitcher of the Month for April before his brief struggles in May.
Tyler Glasnow returning to face Clayton Kershaw
Both pitchers on Saturday are making their first start following an absence from their respective teams. For the Rays, it will be Tyler Glasnow on the mound, who is being activated from the 15-day injured list due to an oblique injury.
Glasnow owns a career 4.00 ERA across 409.2 innings, but since he was traded to the Rays from the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2018, he has been far more effective, posting a 3.05 ERA across 268.1 innings.
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