Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Explains Decision To Remove Clayton Kershaw After 6 Innings

In a game where offense was at a premium, the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied late to secure a 4-2 comeback win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Clayton Kershaw was tabbed with his first no-decision of the season but nonetheless turned in another efficient start.

The left-hander allowed two runs and didn’t give up his first hit until the fourth inning. He overall allowed two hits in six innings of work and struck out eight batters on an economical 83 pitches.

After retiring the side in order in the sixth, Roberts made the difficult decision of pulling Kershaw with his spot leading off the bottom half of the inning. Kershaw and Roberts had a heated conversation in the dugout and both walked into the tunnel before returning.

“I thought it was good. Eight punch, six innings,” Roberts said of Kershaw’s outing. I think Clayton will say it wasn’t his best stuff, but this guy, every time he takes the mound you know he’s going to be prepared and compete. Six innings, two runs, eight punch. Pretty good outing.

“I just felt right there he potentially had one more inning left, but we were down so I felt it was time to go to the ‘pen. Luke had a good at-bat, got on base and we couldn’t push him across in that sixth.”

With Wednesday’s victory, the Dodgers improved to 7-1 on the homestand and clinched a third consecutive series. “It was important, because clearly we didn’t play good baseball on the road,” Roberts said of the Dodgers’ success at home.

“We’ve got to finish this one out, but going up to San Francisco, a team that’s playing really good baseball, then going to Houston. So to take care of business at home was very important.”

Prior to the current homestand, the Dodgers were mired in a 5-15 stretch. Roberts conceded the team likely would’ve lost Wednesday’s game had it been played a couple of weeks ago.

“I think so. Playing at home, you can feel the fans and little bit of pressure they put on the opposing pitcher. When we can shrink the strike zone down to take a walk, keep running counts, good fortune seems to happen at home,” Roberts said.

“You look back at some games in the last few weeks, we didn’t close the gap, take the lead or cash in when we had opportunities. Like I said a few days ago, I just think the tide has turned and we’ve got some good mojo going on in our clubhouse.”

Kershaw content with start

When assessing his start after the game, Kershaw lamented walking Josh Rojas with one out in the fourth to set up Eduardo Escobar’s two-run homer. “Overall it was OK. I only gave up a couple hits,” Kershaw said.

“The problem with the outing was the walk to Rojas. Escobar, good hitter, he’s going to hit some homers sometimes, so you’d like that to be a solo homer.

“For me that was probably the most frustrating, was the Rojas walk. For the most part, pretty efficient. Our team did a great job of coming back at the end and we got a win, so it was a good day.”

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