Dodgers Spring Training Highlights: Clayton Kershaw Freezes Shohei Ohtani With Curveball

Dodgers Spring Training Highlights: Clayton Kershaw Freezes Shohei Ohtani With Curveball

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Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Clayton Kershaw took the mound Wednesday for his third start of the spring as the Los Angeles Dodgers traveled to Tempe Diablo Stadium to face the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Both managers fielded lineups that included several regulars.

For the Angels, that meant the likes of Ian Kinsler, Mike Trout, Justin Upton, Albert Pujols and Shohei Ohtani were among those slated to face the Dodgers’ left-handed ace. While Kershaw going up against Trout is a spectacle in and of itself, it in some regard played second fiddle.

Ohtani’s start as the designated hitter was his third of the spring. He entered the day with just one hit, one RBI, three walks and three strikeouts in Cactus League play thus far.

Ohtani’s first plate appearance against Kershaw came with the two-way star leading off the third inning. He got ahead in the count but wound up looking at one of Kershaw’s patented curveball for strike three.

Well before his Japanese team posting him, Ohtani said he looked forward to facing Kershaw and that he believes the two share similarities despite being pitchers of different handedness.

The at-bat was the only matchup between the two players. The Angels went on to load the bases in the third inning but were unable to capitalize. Kershaw has now tossed a combined six scoreless innings across three Cactus League starts.

Kershaw and Ohtani may next cross paths March 22 at Camelback Ranch, and/or perhaps during the exhibition Freeway Series from March 25-27. The Dodgers and Angels meet for a three-game series during the regular season July 6-8.