Something happened on Sunday night that fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers are not accustomed to, Clayton Kershaw struggled against the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Dodgers took their 3rd straight loss. The southpaw surrendered four runs while giving up nine hits over just 6 innings.
On Monday morning, it was reported that Kershaw received treatment for minor back discomfort that manager Dave Roberts described as an “off-and-on issue.” The minor back discomfort might partially explain the unusually poor outing, although Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said it didn’t affect Kershaw during the game.
Kershaw has been dealing with lower back stiffness the last few weeks, Roberts said. "It's day to day but he'll be ready for his next start"
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) June 27, 2016
From Doug Padilla, ESPN:
Roberts called Kershaw’s lower-back discomfort an “off-and-on issue” but sounded far from concerned about it, saying Kershaw “absolutely” would make his next scheduled start, expected to be at home Friday against the Colorado Rockies.
Kershaw was on the field Monday morning at PNC Park getting in his usual day-after-start workout before having the back addressed.
He did not talk about a back issue after Sunday’s start, and Roberts addressed it Monday morning only when asked.
In a season where every piece of the rotation except Kershaw has been a major question mark to say the least, the team could not afford any kind of injury to him. If the Dodgers ace were to go down for any significant amount of time, it would more than likely submarine the team. For now, Roberts isn’t worried.
However, never one to make excuses, speaking after the game Kershaw simply said that he had a bad night.
Kershaw swatted away all theories re: rare mediocre start: "I wish I had an excuse for you. I just didn’t pitch well enough to win tonight"
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) June 27, 2016
In a season where he has routinely made the impossible seem mundane, it is very odd to see anything but super human performances out of Kershaw. Sunday night was without a doubt his worst start of the season so far.
Clayton Kershaw had an uncharacteristic start in the Dodgers' 4-3 loss to Pirates. pic.twitter.com/kwjZEe5WZG
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 27, 2016
However, seeing as how this was only the second time in Kershaw’s sixteen starts this season that the Dodgers have lost, fans will surely be forgiving of this one off performance. His next scheduled start is at home going against the Rockies, and he has some pretty good history against them at Chavez Ravine.
Having never had any major injuries in the past, hopefully this back issue will come and go without any lingering effects and the Kershaw we all know and love will be back to usual self. On Monday the Dodgers wrap up a 4-game series with the Pirates, trying to avoid being swept before starting a 3-game series on the road against the Milwaukee Brewers.
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