By all accounts, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is one of the greatest pitchers the sport has ever seen. To some, Kershaw is the best hurler of his generation.
But years of dominance have recently given way to three consecutive seasons marred by injury. A herniated disc in his lower back forced Kershaw to the disabled list in 2016, and he’s suffered back strains in each of the last two seasons.
Kershaw was also sidelined by left biceps tendinitis this year. Those injuries contributed to the 30-year-old not earning an All-Star Game selection for the first time since 2010.
With Dave Roberts serving as manager of the National League team, many predicted heading into this season that Kershaw would once and for all start a Midsummer Classic.
Kershaw said not being able to joing Roberts, the Dodgers coaching staff, and teammates Matt Kemp, Kenley Jansen and Max Muncy in Washington D.C. was a disappointment, per Ethan Bauer of the L.A. Times:
“It’s disappointing not to make the All-Star team,” he said, “but it’ll be good to spend some time with my family, for sure.”
Although Kershaw failed to make an eighth career All-Star Game, he appears to be in strong position to help lead the Dodgers’ postseason push. Following a start in the finale of the first half, Roberts said he was encouraged and excited about his ace’s health and trajectory.
Kershaw is still below .500 at 3-4, but has pitched to a 2.74 ERA, 3.17 FIP and 1.08 WHIP in 13 starts. He’s likely to take the mound in Friday’s series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers.
That marks the start of a 10-game road trip and 17 games in as many days.
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