Friday, January 27, 2023
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The Return of Kershaw

The much anticipated return of Clayton Kershaw happened as the Los Angeles Dodgers started Game 1 of this ten game road trip against Jose Fernandez and the Miami Marlins. This road trip will span three cities in ten days. Kershaw was making his first appearance since June 26th. Kershaw came into the game 11-3 with a 1.89 ERA. The Dodgers were riding a five game winning streak. Jose Fernandez came into the game 13-8 with a 2.90 ERA.

In the bottom of the first Kershaw gave up a dinger to J.T. Realmuto. In the top of the second inning, the Dodgers had two men on with nobody out. Andrew Toles struck out followed by the first sacrifice bunt by Kershaw. Chase Utley then grounded out to end the threat. This would be become a theme for the night.

Kershaw didn’t have his electric stuff. Kershaw gave up a second run in the second inning. His night ended after three innings.

Jose Fernandez in the top of the third struck out Justin Turner, Corey Seager, and Adrian Gonzalez. This inning proved that Fernandez had his electric stuff and that the Dodgers were going to be in trouble. One of his pitches actually topped out at 100 mph. The Dodger bullpen gave up two runs in the fifth inning extending the Marlins lead 4-0. Fernandez ended up going seven innings while giving up three hits and striking out 14.

Josh Reddick went two for three against Fernandez.  Yasmani Grandal blasted a solo shot off bow and arrow man Fernando Rodney in the ninth to spoil the shutout. Reddick then singles and Joc Pederson then singled and the Dodgers brought the tying run to the plate. Toles flied out and Carlos Ruiz struck out to Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos. Utley then struck out to end the threat and the game in a 4-1 loss.

The Dodgers left nine runners on base and were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position. Kershaw compiled two milestones during the game. He became the first MLB pitcher ever to reach 150 strikeouts without walking 10. He also struck out 150 for the ninth straight season. The activation of Clayton Kershaw from the 60-day disabled list, the Dodgers on Friday recalled pitcher Carlos Frias from Triple-A Oklahoma City and simultaneously placed him on the 60-day disabled list.

The Dodgers broke a record by placing their 28th player on the DL. Former Dodger manager Don Mattingly is now 5-0 against the Dodgers keeping the Marlin’s slim playoff hopes alive. The most important news should be the health of Kershaw going forward.

The Dodgers will attempt to rebound tomorrow with Rich Hill on the mound.  In other news, Dodgers will most likely activate Andre Ethier who has become the forgotten man.

James Moya

Hi I’m James Moya. I am an avid Dodgers fan. I graduated Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelors in Communications. I used to freelance at the San Bernardino Sun. I’m excited about this opportunity to write for LA Dodger Report to gain experience. I’m a straight shooter on my opinions and I hope to get some good conversations going. My dream has always been to report on the Dodgers because Baseball is the National Past-time. I hope you enjoy the ride with me.

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James Moya
Hi I’m James Moya. I am an avid Dodgers fan. I graduated Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelors in Communications. I used to freelance at the San Bernardino Sun. I’m excited about this opportunity to write for LA Dodger Report to gain experience. I’m a straight shooter on my opinions and I hope to get some good conversations going. My dream has always been to report on the Dodgers because Baseball is the National Past-time. I hope you enjoy the ride with me.
http:ladodgerreport.com

40 thoughts on “The Return of Kershaw

  1. All I really care about is that tomorrow Clayton’s back will be fine. If it is, he will be fine. Roberts is bringing him back slowly. I am fine with that.

    Well, I confess, I care about a couple more things:

    1. Yasmani Grandal hit his 25th HR, like I predicted; and
    2. Josh Reddick did what he is supposed to do – hit RH pitching.

    Rich Hill tomorrow.

  2. The Dodgers seem to sleep walk thru the first game of a series after a day’s rest. I won’t go stat geek and look it up, but it has seemed to happen often this season.

    GO Los Angeles Rams!!!

  3. Well I disagree it was an ugly game. Fernandez is their ace and he pitched like one. Anyone who expected Kersh to come back and throw 7 shutout innings was dreaming. I also agree with pulling him after 3. But Bud Norris let the game get away. Those 2 extra runs made it too big a hill to climb. I am eating crow on Grandal. I never thought he would hit this many homers, but he did nothing against the good pitcher. Rodney is not all that great anymore. Kersh’s next start will be Tuesday in the Bronx. Welcome back Dre. Hope you get the opportunity for a few clutch knocks.

    1. I’m always amazed at the magical thinking of some fans who expect athletes to come back from injuries as if they never happened. “Do you think Kobe will score 40 tonight?” “Will Buehler be in the rotation next year?” Kershaw didn’t embarrass himself and hopefully he didn’t hurt himself, and that’s good enough for what was essentially another rehab start.

  4. Like Michael said – good pitching stops good hitting! Fernandez is very good!

    I am hoping that BlisterHill can spin that curve for about 7 or 8 innings tonight. I think our postseason hopes lie on the health of Kershaw and Hill. If healthy, they are the top two starters in baseball this year, but both have missed substantial time. The good thing is that their arms have little wear and tear this year. IF HEALTHY, they should be fresh. I would keep Maeda on six days rest. Just adjust the rotation accordingly. Most don’t want to pitch on 6 days rest so just slot Maeda – that means that you need a spot starter occasionally. When he pitches on 6 days rest, he is dramatically better.

    What to do with Andre Ethier? I was listening to MLB Radio a couple of weeks ago and they said this about Josh Reddick “Sometimes when a player is traded he presses and hurts himself. Josh will snap out of this and be an asset to this lineup.” They were right, but now we have Reddick, Toles and Pederson who are all LH and Ethier is back in the mix.

    We saw what happened when Kendrick and Turner came back and how slow they started. I know that Andre is part of the team, but we can’t wait a month for him to get his stroke (if he doesn’t have it) when we have other guys who are hot – Toles and Reddick. It shall be interesting how this plays out.

    The AFL shoud be very interesting for the Dodgers as Bellinger, Verdugo and Calhoun participate. All three should be ready sometime in 2017. I have watched MiLB TV and seen them quite a bit. Bellinger is a hitter in the mold of Grandal – high OB% and great power but maybe a lower BA. He can play OF but is outstanding at 1B – better than A-Gon because he covers more ground. Verdugo is not unlike Josh Reddick, but with a little more power. I think Alex could be a .300 hitter. Reddick would seem to be redundant. Then there is Willie Calhoun. His bat will get him to the majors – I see him as a Brandon Phillips (but with less speed). The knock on him has been his glove, but he has been working on it and I have seen him get better this year. I don’t think he can play anywhere but 2B. He has Jeff Kent’s speed! In 2015, he had 18 errors in 65 games. This year he has 21 errors in 119 games. He doesn’t strike out much and I think he can play 2B – albeit not at an Gold Glove level, but like Phillips he can hit 30 HR!

    As most of you know, I was never a Zach Lee fan and while I did think highly of Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster and Nate Eavoldi, I was not against THE TRADE because of Losing Webster and RDLR, I was just against Carl Crawford and his salary…. which we are still paying.

    It’s always better to trade a guy a year too early than a year too late. I suspect the Dodgers will try and trade A-Gon over the winter, but it might be that year too late. Besides, he’s a great teammate and Dodger Ambassador.

    The Dodgers have managed to stay competitive as they are evolving. Many fans haven’t liked it, but the fact is, they are in a position to win a World Championship this year. There are a lot of moving parts and a lot of luck involved in doing that. The fact of the matter is that they still have to win the division.

    There are 22 games left. If the Dodgers go .500 the rest of the way, they will win 90 games. If they win 13 of those games, they will win 92 games. They are coming together at the right time! THis could be fun to watch. With all the injuries we have had, I think the odds are it evens out the rest of the way. At least, I hope so.

    1. I think the world championship thing is a stretch because they do not match up well with the Cubs. I do not fear DC, but St Louis is always dangerous, and the Mets are making a push.

  5. Kershaw first effort was fine.

    He had been out to long to expect anything different and really besides that hanging curve that Kershaw threw, he would have only allowed one run.

    That is why I didn’t like Kershaw put in this circumstance.

    The people that publicized this match up, didn’t realize that this game, was more like a rehab game for Kershaw.

    And that first umpire didn’t help much, with his bad calls.

    He was giving Fernamdez pitches, that were out of the strike zone.

    And Fernandez was all over the place, and didn’t deserve those calls.

    It is hard enough to hit a really good pitcher, let alone a pitcher, that is getting so many pitches, outside of the strike zone.

    And at times it seems like they don’t win the first game of a series, but it happens more, after they have a day off.

    It was to bad the Giants won, but the Dodgers don’t need to worry about that.

    They just need to keep winning every series, from here out.

    And Norris almost always seems to come in and make a catastrophe happen.

    He walked a hitter that wasn’t hitting, and then Fields practically just heaved the ball up there, and hit the Japanese player, after he had two strikes.

    These relief pitchers need to come in and get ahead on hitters, and make them hit the ball, because most of our walks, come back and score on us.

    I would love to know how many of our walks, have came back and scored on us.

  6. I’ve always been a fan of Andre and would love to see him play but not at the expense of Reddick who is one of our hottest hitters now.

  7. TrueBlue, I agree with you; we do seem to play lifeless on first games of series. Or at least it seems that way to me.

    Anyway, Fernandez is out of the way, so let’s go get today. Giants got a big win for them last night; they’re 4 back. I don’t care what the math says, we have some work to do; magic number still 19

    Reddick definitely swinging the bat better, as is Puig. It’s nice no matter who is playing in RF

  8. I don’t like inserting these guys who have been out into the starting team. Even Kershaw. It’s like spring training for him. Not during a pennant race when you have a nice lead to protect. I think the suits are looking ahead to October. But there might not be an October. Kershaw said after the game that he was very aware of this critical part of the season,and that is why he was more critical of his effort than if it were a meaningless game. Same with Ethier. Tell him to come back in February. The Kershaw/Ethier situation has made Roberts’ job harder, not easier. THIS IS A PENNANT RACE. The giants still could rip off 7-8 in a row, and we have to expect them to. No time to playing guys to get them into shape.

    1. Agree about Ethier, not Kershaw, we aren’t going to the promised land without prime Kershaw. Whatever it takes to get him ready is necessary.

      Meaningless game? What MLB game is meaningless? Wins in April are just as good as September.

      Kershaw didn’t hurt us last night. Short outing is normal, bullpen fully stocked. Some timely hitting would have been nice. Kershaw has three to four more starts before playoffs. Hopefully good to go by then.

      1. I also agree about Ethier.

        All these games have the same value: 1/162. So if you can pitch Kershaw 3 innings in May, you can pitch him 3 innings in September.

        I understand the “pennant race” belief. But I see that as less room for error.

        If this was the final game of the season, tied with SF, playing in SF, and Kershaw’s FIRST game back (his rehab game), do you pitch him???

        I dont! At that point there is no time to make up for any error.

        Therefore pitch Kershaw today so that he can be ready for game 162.

  9. Not much mention of OKC O’Koyea Dickson OF. Maybe just a spare part, but he has had a great season and should be with the big club in Glendale.

    1. Dixon is 26. This was his 2nd year at AAA. He did improve but is caught in the OF numbers game. They are loaded at the position and Thompson will be back strong next year. Dixon is probably trade bait. He is not even listed as one of their top 30 prospects…..

  10. Without Kershaw what chance do they have in the playoffs? If they could give starts to the Killer B’s last month, why wouldn’t they try to get their best pitcher back in game shape?

    Dickson has had a great season but he’s caught in a squeeze between Gonzo and Bellinger. Left field seems to be his best option with the Dodgers, but he could end up somewhere else, hopefully not in our division.

    1. I don’t think Dickson is in anyone’s real plans but would it hurt to activate him and DFA Anderson who isn’t going to be with us next year anyways. DFA Anderson and move Kazmir to the 60 day DL and call it a season with those two. Dickson may be able to get a pinch hit or two down the stretch. Fields can be DFA’d too as far as I’m concerned.

      1. Not sure about this but… The reluctance to bring up minor league players sometimes has to do with “starting their clock early”, thereby allowing them to reach arbitration and then free agency earlier, costing the club money. I’m with you, I’d always much rather see young players who probably will get better than older players, not good now and definitely on their way to be even worse. But baseball traditionally favors older players, probably because managers are older.

  11. Kershaw really wasn’t the biggest problem.

    And with Fernandez pitching, and the umpire making it easier for Fernandez, the offense wasn’t the biggest problem to me.

    The biggest problem was that Norris, Fields, and JP couldn’t get the job done, in a mere half inning.

    Both Norris and Fields walked a hitter, and Fields hit a hitter after getting two strikes.

    And JP allowed Gordon to go to third easily.

    Not one of these pitchers, did there job.

    And they were not coming back, after being out for a long time like Kershaw.

    That was the biggest problem in this game to me.

    You can’t give Fernandez a four run lead, and expect to win, especially in his park.

  12. It’s interesting to me that O’Koyea Dickson will be 27 years old in 2017 and while he is having an excellent season in AAA, he is not a TOP 30 prospect. That is a testament of the farm system depth, but also an indictment of his development. He has prospered under new management. I see him as a journeyman who can play an adequate 1B or LF. He will be in the majors – just not sure who with. He has worked hard.

    Casey Fien was just cut loose to make room for Andre. Bye, Bye, Casey!

  13. I can’t believe the negativity associated with Kershaw’s return.

    It was essentially a rehab start. He still gave 3 innings better than the likes of Norris, Anderson, McCarthy and others have pitched.

    He is setting himself and the team up for success later. If his back doesn’t hurt today, he will be better next time out and the time after that.

    The teams goes NOWHERE without Kershaw in the postseason but with him has a chance.

    PS – No to Ethier now – that’s a mistake. They have plenty of LH bats to play OF. He’s going to be really rusty. I would like to see Puig play regularly – he’s not a platoon player. I like an OF of Puig, Pederson and Reddick right now.

  14. Dodgerrick, don’t be so nice. Tell the truth.

    The truth is, anyone who’s whining about Kershaw returning knows nothing about baseball, and should be banned from discussing baseball until 2017. Unbelievable

    1. The line up is out, and I have one problem with it.

      Reddick is playing in rightfield, and Puig is playing in leftfield.

      I don’t like some of the things that Puig does, but he is a much better rightfielder, then Reddick.

      Puig not only has a better arm, he is younger and faster, then Reddick, and Puig can cover more ground.

      And I do not think it is a good idea, to play Puig in a position he has not played much, or at all.
      Howie
      Corey
      Turner
      Agone
      Grandal
      Reddick
      Puig
      Joc
      Hill

      1. But Reddick has friends in high places… And Puig has no friends in blue uniforms, no matter how well he plays, they will not play him much. They are going to trade him. Period. FAZ didn’t sign him so he must go.

        1. Wondering
          Then when they play him, they need to be smart about it.

          Puig in a new position, even in the outfield, is not something I would do, because you just don’t know what will happen.

          I hope Reddick can hit in some runs, with his hits today.

          1. Left field is the easiest to play, I think he’ll be alright. This may be a test to see just how cooperative he will be. But even Ray Charles could see he is a better outfielder than FAZ Jr., er, I mean Reddick…

      2. I agree that Puig should be in right, but Reddick is a Gold Glove winner; so, I can also see him playing right. Reddick is playing to a tough house, but he has come through.

  15. This from True Blue LA:

    “Seven relief pitchers were used by the Dodgers on Friday, just as seven were used on Wednesday in the homestand finale against the Diamondbacks. On the season, Dodgers pitchers have 515 appearances in relief, the most in baseball.

    Those 515 appearances match the team’s total in 2015, which is the second-most in franchise history, behind only the 526 relief appearances used in 2009. There are still 22 games remaining, but this is a franchise mark that should fall at some point in New York, if not sooner.”

    1. We will beat that franchise record for sure and now with putting Frias on the 60 day DL we have set a major league record for most on the DL.
      Some are not happy with Kenley’s 43/6(88%) save record. Be that as it may, he’s still the only one we can count on especially when you know that TEN other pitchers(Dayton, Blanton, Liberatore, Garcia, Baez, Coleman, Chavez, Fien, Avilan and Hatcher) have tried to save a game for a total of FOURTEEN times and have FAILED all fourteen times).
      I have no idea how many of those failed fourteen times ultimately ended up in wins and loses for us but I’d love to find out. Any help out there???

  16. The Dodgers battled the Big Red Machine in the 70’s and while the Reds had a powerful offense they had to rely on their bullpen because they didn’t have much of a rotation. The Royals made back to back WS appearances with the bullpen playing a huge role in their success.

    This year the Dodgers are going to use their bullpen often. So what? Next year maybe their rotation will be a strength.

    It seems like the Dodgers reliance on their bullpen is just another way for some to bitch. The glass is half full. Enjoy it.

    1. Having crummy starting pitching is not a positive. I don’t get it.

      I have never seen a successful LA Dodger team that didn’t have superior starting pitching.

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