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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Explains Decision to Pull Clayton Kershaw

Very frustrating, but probably the right call.



Sure, we would have all loved to see Clayton Kershaw throw his first perfect game. There wasn’t a guy in that Dodgers dugout that wasn’t hoping for him to get it done. After everything that he has accomplished in his career, reaching that wild pitching goal would have been insane. 

But there are a lot of things to keep in mind with Dave Roberts’ decision to pull him. They’re coming off of a shortened Sring Training and Kershaw himself admitted to not throwing as much this offseason. Add in the first arm injury of his career in 2021, and it’s an easy decision for the Dodgers. 

To his credit, Kersh recognized that it was the right call. The Dodgers southpaw spoke about it after the game, adding that of course he would have loved to finish it off. 

“Sure I would’ve loved to have to do it, but maybe I’ll get another chance. …I knew going in that my pitch count wasn’t going to be 100. It’s a hard thing to do, to come out of a game when you’re doing that. We’re here to win. This was the right choice.”

Kersh finished his 7 innings off with 80 pitches under his belt. That was more than anticipated with the Dodgers just hoping for a 75 pitch outing from him. Pushing him beyond that starts to add to the risk of another injury. And given the state of their rotation, that would be awful. 

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Doc explained after the game the decision was indeed based on all of those factors we just talked about. That includes the fact that he was at 80 pitches and that they did not want to continue to push him. 

So like it or not, it was probably the right call here from Doc.

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6 Comments

  1. Great achievements are hard, that’s why they’re great and rare. There have been over 200,000 baseball games and only 23 perfect games. Opportunities for greatness don’t come around often. Kershaw is an elite athlete and a grown man not fragile 12 year old. He would have survived.

  2. Should have let him go back out.Perfecto’s are rarely seen and he was going good.Any real red flag as the game continued would be obviously dealt with.The way it was going he more than likely would have done it.Sad in a real way.

  3. Sadly, at his age Kershaw will not likely see another opportunity like this. As the seasons starts off, we that is the best time to thro a “perfecto” since pitchers tend to be ahead of batters then. So how many first weeks of the season does Kershaw have left? Not many. Still, I am pulling for him and his expanded breaking stuff may help him achieve that goal.

  4. The ultimate decision to continue or not should rest in a Clayton’s hands..and it sounds as if he agreed….. would have loved to see him continue but his health going forward has to be more important.

  5. its the best move to navigate the regular season and try to be ready for october. i have to esplain everything to you lucy. or in this case the dodgers. they finally listened to me. i knew it was bad to have him toss over 100 pitches last year. and that it was the most probable cause he was injured last year. no hitters and perfect games dont mean anything when youre aiming for a title. so whats more important? there have been a few guys who pitched no hitters and threw 130 pitches or more. then their careers went down the tubes. lincecum to name one. long term damage happens later when pitch counts get too high often enough. or innings per season. every piece has to be monitered and diagnosed to keep them healthy year in and year out all year long every single year. that means monitering their workloads and health carefully. at times you may have to sit any player and aim for recovery and or more or better conditioning based on a players specific situation. and youve gotta be sharp enough to reason it out without misdiagnosing whats being observed. and thats a little bit more difficult than it looks sometimes. every ones reasoning is probably a little bit farther than 100% accuracy than we’d generally prefer to believe.something like lets say quantum mechanics makes sense from one perspective but doesnt make sense from the perspective of general relativity. where the reference frame changes so does the nature of the facts observations and how we judge things along with any beliefs we possess about reality ityself. anyway, thats how it appears to me. you dont have to agree with that assessment at all. im ok with that. the universe is going through whats called the second law of thermodynamics. i reasoned if that is true then about all matter undergoing a heat death then all our actions and thoughts are aimed towards a heat death. and that in itself is the flow of time. its arrow . i believe that it is time itself. this breakdown of the matter- energy. its a double edged sword where we break down fight and self destruct. and disagree on a multitude of fronts. but it also allows for variety and existence and anything good that occurs.even though that doesnt last.