For the first time this spring, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw pitched into the fourth inning. However, he only recorded one out in the fourth before being removed by manager Don Mattingly.
While Kershaw reached the fourth inning, his start was far from a walk in the park — though there were walks handed out. Seven Seattle Mariners reached base against Kershaw, three of which were by way of walk. The left-hander managed to limit the damage, giving up just one earned run.
Following the start, Kershaw, a known perfectionist, lamented his performance, via ESPN’s Mark Saxon:
I guess it’s good to pitch out of the stretch and have some situations like that, but today was rough,” Kershaw said. “I was all over the place, had no idea where the ball was going. I need to figure it out. I’m getting worse as the spring goes on.”
Similar to when A.J. Ellis offered a positive assessment of a bullpen session Kershaw was unhappy with, Yasmani Grandal, who caught Kershaw on Sunday, had a positive view of the reigning NL MVP:
I mean, when I see a slider he throws, I’m thinking it’s pretty good,” Grandal said. “For him, it’s pretty bad.”
Kershaw struggling in Spring Training is nothing new to the Dodgers. In four starts (14.2) innings pitched last year, he finished 0-3 with a 9.20 ERA. In 2013, Kershaw went 2-3 and had a 4.18 ERA.
The subpar results haven’t exactly carried over into the regular season for Kershaw as he’s won four-consecutive ERA titles — becoming the first pitcher in MLB history to do so.
Although Kershaw was unhappy with his performance on Sunday, not all is lost as he threw 65 pitches — the most in any of his starts this spring — which is key in preparing for Opening Day.
Clayton Kershaw Unhappy With ‘Misfires’