Clayton Kershaw not agreeing with being removed from a game isn’t any sort of new revelation or development. However, his display of frustration matched the warm temperature at Dodger Stadium on Thursday afternoon, and was caught on camera.

Kershaw passionately lobbied — er, argued — with manager Don Mattingly to remain in the game as he’d only thrown 80 pitches through five innings. Mattingly stood his ground and pinch-hit for his ace to leadoff the bottom of the fifth.

The Dodgers, trailing 3-0 at the time to the Arizona Diamondbacks, scored six runs in the inning en route to a win. Mattingly brushed off the exchange in his postgame interview, while Kershaw essentially did the same, though by refusing to discuss the matter.

A more reflective Kershaw opened up a bit to tell Bill Plunkett of the OC Register he likely overreacted and it was possibly the most upset he’s ever been:

It was a display (caught on camera) that Kershaw acknowledged a day later was an extreme reaction even for him. “Yeah, possibly. Yeah, probably,” Kershaw said Friday. “Obviously, I didn’t agree with the decision. I think that was probably the most agitated I’ve been this year, probably any other year too.”

By now any variation of asking Kershaw whether he wanted to be removed from a game or felt tired isn’t necessary as his answers rarely deviate from some version of “no.” He’s acknowledged Kenley Jansen’s value and importance of allowing him to close games out, but it’s clear Kershaw feels a sense of responsibility to lessen the load for his teammates.

With the Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the National League West down to two entering play Saturday, Kershaw’s next scheduled start — Tuesday against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park — may have no bearing on the division.

However, the Dodgers are also locked in a battle with the New York Mets for home-field advantage in the expected NL Division Series matchup. Kershaw’s final start is expected to come on the last day of the regular season.

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About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

8 Responses

    • Louise Duke

      Sounds good but then why does a less talented pitcher get to stay in until they score 7 runs in 4 innings. After all the Dodgers are only fighting for home field advantage, right? Only Mattingly understands why he makes the decisions he does. One example is sitting Andre Andre against lefties when his avg against them is 205 and the player replacing him is batting under 170 overall. The odds are definitely in Andre’s favor and everyone (except Mattingly) knows Ethier is a much better hitter when he plays more.

      Reply
      • Richard Gonzales

        I agree sometimes Mattingly makes some puzzling decisions I’m all for him being replaced

      • Blue

        Maybe because mattingly isn’t worried too much about resting that other pitcher for the postseason?
        And the .170 average guy…you mean Heisey who just hit a game winning grand slam?

      • Louise Duke

        That reasoning doesn’t pan out considering every game is important because of home-field advantage as far as leaving pitcher in and letting game get out of control. As for as the low avg batter, I only used Heisey for an example but there are a few other left-handers who play against lefties whose avg are lower against lefties than Andre’s. Just saying…..Oh and that one home run makes up for going 9 for 54 and a 167 avg. There is also the question of Joc Pederson. He is another one whose avg against lefties is lower than Ethier’s at 209 and 210 overall. Does making an outstanding catch every third or fourth game make up for the poor production at the plate?

      • Blue

        After reading what mattingly said regarding home field advantage, it seems to me that they don’t necessarily care if they get it. He knows the state of the team much better than any of us and it’s quite possible that resting players is more important at this point than which field greinke and Kershaw open the series at. Make sense? If we don’t get home field, there’s a great chance that we go up 2-0 and then have two home games to get #3. When you have the luxury of starting two cy young caliber pitchers to open a series no matter the location, I could see where it can be more important to have your bats rested and ready to go with fresh legs.

        Complain about the lineup all you want, but it clearly worked. We won the west AGAIN despite many “fans” predicting doom and gloom since the offseason. Complain about mattingly all you want, but don’t forget where the man has led our team for three straight years. Y’all need to get a half full glass.

  1. Giantkiller000

    Short of a World Series appearance, I don’t think mattingly returns next year.

    Reply

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