It’s not often that you will hear Clayton Kershaw joke around on days that he pitches. In fact, most Dodgers players will tell you that they avoid him at all costs on days where he takes the ball. As fun as he can be in the dugout on his off days, Kersh is all business on the mound.
But when you strike out 13 Cubs batters and allow just 1 run across 8 innings of work, it’s a little easier to crack a smile. That’s what happened for the Dodgers hurler on Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles.
Kershaw got Jose Lobaton to roll over on a grounder to Gavin Lux and ended his 8 masterful innings of work. As he trotted off the mound to a standing ovation, Kershaw had one more check from umpires under the new foreign substance rules. The Dodgers pitcher gave the umpire a sly warning as they did th check.
It’s not so much surreal. I think I told him ‘hey you might get booed here a little bit’. But it’s part of the game now and they’re just doing their job and doing what they’re asked to do. Just kind of roll with it and keep going.
It is a strange new world in MLB that everyone is still trying to get used to. Dodgers pitchers coming off of the mound and having to unbuckle their belts to be inspected for foreign substances will always be a little odd.
But Kershaw had a great day for the Dodgers, so he had some fun with it. Los Angeles rolled past the Cubs by a score of 8-1 thanks in part to a grand slam from Zach McKinstry. Up next, they take on the Giants for two games before heading out on a road trip to DC.