Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Felt ‘Lucky’ During 7 Shutout Innings Against Cubs

Clayton Kershaw was in a familiar position against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday, as he was just over one year removed from starting the first game of a split doubleheader at Wrigley Field.

However, that outing on May 4, 2021, was one to forget for the three-time Cy Young Award winner. Kershaw allowed four runs on four hits and two walks, and pitched just one inning in the shortest start of his career.

That previously was 1.1 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 4, 2010.

Kershaw avoided a repeat performance in his return to Wrigley Field, completing an efficient seven shutout innings in the Dodgers’ 7-0 win. He only collected two strikeouts and after the win attributed the successful outing to good fortune, via SportsNet LA:

“You know what? Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Those first couple innings they hit a lot of balls hard, right at guys. The wind was swirling, pushing the ball in a little bit, so Belli made some great plays out there in center. Overall, it was just kind of a fortunate day. They hit a lot of balls right at guys. Sometimes that happens, and you’ve got to take it.”

Kershaw pitching seven innings helped preserve the Dodgers’ bullpen for the second game of the doubleheader, but he largely went into the game with the same focus and goal

“I think this exact same thing happened last year, and I pitched one inning. Definitely didn’t want to do that, but overall it’s the same approach. You try to go as long as you can no matter what, but obviously it’s a little more important with a doubleheader. Thankful to get through seven, and I think we’re set up well for the next one.”

Patrick Wisdom nearly got the Cubs on the board in the bottom of the seventh but his would-be two-run home run was kept in the ballpark thanks to wind blowing in off Lake Michigan. The Cubs then had runners at the corners with two outs, but Nico Hoerner was retired on the first pitch.

In addition to tracking down Wisdom’s drive in deep center field, Bellinger made a running catch earlier in the game, and Chris Taylor was well-positioned to catch a line drive.

Kershaw’s career stats at Wrigley Field

Kershaw improved to 2-3 with a 3.46 ERA in five career starts at Wrigley Field. He entered with a 4.74 ERA in the Cubs’ home ballpark, his second-highest mark.

Saturday’s win was Kershaw’s first at Wrigley Field since helped the Dodgers clinch the 2017 National League pennant in Game 5.

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