The Dodgers dropped the second of three games against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, and it wasn’t pretty for Clayton Kershaw. In what ended as a 6-4 victory for Atlanta, Clayton gave up 5 earned runs, all of which came in the third inning.
This isn’t the first time this season that Kershaw has struggled either. After a great April in which he had a 2.09 ERA, Kershaw started to slide a bit in the month of May. He gave up at least 4 earned runs in 3 of 6 starts in May, posting a 4.83 ERA over 31.2 innings. After Saturday’s outing, Clayton’s ERA on the season now sits at 3.66.
When asked about Kershaw’s recent struggles, Dave Roberts tried to put into words what his ace was going through at the moment.
It is uncharacteristic that in an inning where he doesn’t feel right, he can limit damage to 1, 2, or 3 runs, but the last couple have been big numbers. So it’s just one of those things that he loses command of some pitches and those other guys are capitalizing on that one big inning. But he’s gonna reset and he’ll be ready to put up more zeros his next start.
One silver lining after a second consecutive game in which he gave up 5 runs was the fact that Clayton was still able to pitch through the 6th inning. He’s only failed to reach the 6th inning on two occasions so far, both coming in the month of May. After the game, Dave Roberts also shared his thoughts on Clayton’s outing and his ability to grind through six full innings.
I think that you have to give Clayton credit for going six innings and keeping those guys at bay. It was one bad inning, but the line score as far as 8 or 9 punch [outs], one walk.. and again we had a chance to win the baseball game. I give Clayton a lot of credit for going deeper in that game.
Kershaw isn’t one for silver linings after a loss, but Roberts does make an excellent point. At this stage in his career, the most important thing is getting through the regular season healthy. Up until this point, Clayton has looked as healthy as he has in a long time, which should only benefit the Dodgers further down the road.
This team doesn’t need Kershaw to carry them through October anymore, but performances like the one he had Saturday night won’t be enough either. Only time will tell if the future Hall-of-Famer can right the ship as the dog days of summer approach.