Clayton Kershaw will step away from the team this week as he attends services for his mother who passed away earlier this month. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts shared the game plan with Kershaw who will go on the bereavement list but isn’t expected to miss a start. He’ll rejoin the team in Tampa before Saturday.
Kershaw has had a rough go of it since losing his mom, although the two do not seem to be related. Over his last two starts, he’s failed to pitch into the fifth inning and couldn’t even get into the fourth on Sunday. He attributes his troubles to just not pitching well.
“I just haven’t pitched very good. It’s nothing specific. I just haven’t been pitching very well. Frustrating, not a great time with guys going down. Obviously, you’d like to get some length. It’s disappointing. You feel like you let the guys down, especially the bullpen. There’s really nothing to say except pitch better next time.”
Kershaw’s ERA has jumped from 2.36 to 2.98 over his last two appearances.
Roberts revealed to reporters that the ace did complain of “body fatigue” after his last start. For the manager, there’s probably more at play that Clayton won’t admit to.
“There’s no one that works harder or prepares himself more. So he probably doesn’t want to admit it. But sometimes the emotional toll takes a toll on your body too. So I’m sure it plays some factor.”
Hopefully some time away and the opportunity to lay his mother to rest will ease some of the burden that’s undoubtedly on the ace’s shoulders.
Kershaw’s outing on Sunday marked the fifth time in seven games that a starting pitcher didn’t pitch into the fifth inning. The two times starters did pitch into the fifth inning, they only pitched five innings. With that, the Dodger bullpen has been working overtime and that overuse is showing.
“It’s kind of the ebbs and flows of pitching,” Dave Roberts said. “Sometimes, the starter is going to pick up the guys in the bullpen and other times it works the other way. Right now, we’re in one of those things where starters aren’t going deep.”
Things don’t stand to get much better for the club with two rookie starters pitching on back to back days this week. Endure and survive…