Even though the Dodgers were able to beat the Atlanta Braves and salvage a split series, every Dodger fan has a sick feeling in the pit of their stomach.
Clayton Kershaw, who began the game by absolutely rolling through the first five batters he faced, showed signs of an injury on a pitch to Braves catcher Tyler Flowers in the top of the second inning. The trainer and Dave Roberts came to the mound to take a look at Kershaw. After a few words, Clayton Kershaw took a few warmup pitches before saying that he was well enough to continue.
Kershaw promptly walked Tyler Flowers before going on to strike out his nemesis and former Cardinal, Matt Adams to end the inning.
He was seen leaving the dugout as the bottom of the second inning began and Ross Stripling was up warming in the Dodger bullpen.
The earliest diagnosis of his injury was right lower back tightness. It was first reported by Kelli Tennant of Sports Net LA:
dodgers PR tells me clayton kershaw dealing with right low back tightness.
— Kelli Tennant (@KelliTennant) July 23, 2017
A back injury seems like a blessing at first, as the worst possible thing to see happen to Kershaw would be an arm injury, but Clayton Kershaw missed two entire months of 2016 due to a lower back injury. There have been no reports on whether or not this injury is similar to last year’s.
Clayton Kershaw, who missed over 2 months with a lower back injury in '16, left today's game with right low back tightness, per #Dodgers.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 23, 2017
The Dodgers have a large enough lead in the National League West to not be too worried about Kershaw missing a few weeks of 2017, but it should be of large concern if this injury is the same as 2016. Recurring back injuries in back-to-back seasons would be a large cause for concern.