Clayton Kershaw turned in a scoreless start Friday night to help the Los Angeles Dodgers cruise to a dominant win over the Colorado Rockies, but he wasn’t overly pleased with the outing.
Kershaw allowed five hits and also issued two walks over his six innings of work in his penultimate start of the regular season.
“I feel fine physically,” he said after the Dodgers’ 10-1 win. “This was a tough one stuff-wise. It wasn’t very good. So I had to grind through a lot of guys on base, and overall, just didn’t have the best stuff tonight.
“But I think every once in a while that happens, and you’re going to have to grind. And thankfully, our guys put up a bunch of runs. So gave myself a lot of breathing room, which was great. Guys came out swinging tonight, which is awesome.”
The Dodgers handed Kershaw a 1-0 lead heading into the third inning, and broke the game open with an eight-run fourth. Scoring a season high in runs for a single inning this season meant a long stretch between Kershaw being on the mound.
“I think I’ve got a pretty decent routine now if innings go long,” he said. “Our team has a lot of long innings. We draw a lot of walks, get a lot of hits, a lot of foul balls. So as a pitcher, it’s our job to be ready to go that first pitch the next inning.
“So whatever I do, whatever I got to do, I don’t sit down a ton. After we get one out I move around, throw some stuff in the cage just to make sure. And I physically felt fine tonight, just stuff-wise wasn’t great.”
Kershaw responded to the long inning by retiring the Rockies in order in the fifth, his first and only time doing so on the night. He then stranded a two-out single in the sixth inning.
Even with not pitching at his peak, Kershaw improved to 4-0 with a 1.50 ERA in six starts since coming off the 15-day injured list on Sept. 1. He additionally has throw at least six innings in five of those outings.
Next for the 34-year-old is expected to be a shortened start on the final day of the 2022 regular season.
Clayton Kershaw sees importance of home-field advantage
Friday’s win would have given the Dodgers home-field advantage through the World Series, which technically was clinched by the Tampa Bay Rays defeating the Houston Astros before the game went final at Dodger Stadium.
“I think it’s huge,” Kershaw said. “I mean, I think travel-wise, too. I think the playoffs this seasons is a little different travel-wise, they don’t have that extra off day in between.
“So if you can be home as much as possible, that’s huge. We love playing here, obviously, so we’ll take that for sure.”
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