Clayton Kershaw appeared none too please when Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts came out to remove him from Friday’s game, and that body language evolved into an emotional outburst once the fiery 31-year-old reached the dugout.
Kershaw appeared to ask Roberts, “Why?” before handing over the ball, and he promptly threw his glove on the bench, kicked a mini cooler and let out a yell after walking off the field. “I didn’t see it but I heard about it,” Roberts said the following day.
“Obviously he’s emotional, and he wanted to pitch better. He was frustrated and took it out on the cooler.”
Roberts explained he did not feel a need to address the show of emotion from Kershaw, who previously has been caught by television cameras letting out frustration with his performance. Though, the two did speak, and Roberts relayed there was not any sort of injury — for Kershaw, at least.
"Here comes the putter throw." pic.twitter.com/xp84D1UWsJ
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) September 7, 2019
“Cooler is on the IL,” Roberts quipped.
The loss was Kershaw’s third in a row, which is his first such streak since 2015. The four-plus innings of work was his shortest outing since only going three frames against the New York Mets on June 23, 2018.
However in that case, Kershaw was returning after spending nearly one month on the injured list because of a lower back strain.
Much like with Walker Buehler and Hyun-Jin Ryu, both of whom are receiving extra rest before their next time out, the past four starts have not been particularly kind to Kershaw. He’s 1-3 with a 5.73 ERA during that span.
Kershaw did not want to get into possibilities — or “excuses” — for the Dodgers’ top three starters collectively hitting a rough patch of late, but he did allude to their momentum being generated in similar fashion to that of a lineup.
Even with some of his recent struggles, the 2019 season has generally been a success for Kershaw. He’s recovered from a shoulder issue that required him to begin the year on the 10-day injured list and pitched without any physical issue since being activated.
The Dodgers have not yet specified when Kershaw or Ryu will next slot into the rotation, but the earliest for either is Friday against the New York Mets. Buehler, Ross Stripling and Rich Hill are their probables for the series with the Baltimore Orioles.