In his second rehab start of the season, Clayton Kershaw once again got hit hard by a minor leaguer. The long-time Dodgers ace went a total of six innings and gave up two earned runs on two solo homeruns. He struck out six and did not allow a walk.

First Inning

Kershaw started off the game by getting a groundout to second base. He followed that at-bat up with a groundout to shortstop and an easy fly ball to center field to retire the side. He needed just eight pitches to get through the inning and only threw one ball.

Second Inning

Kershaw again does not allow a hit, but a runner reaches when shortstop Gavin Lux throws it away on a play at first. Kershaw ends the inning by picking that runner off at first base after a strikeout and a popout. He throws 11 pitches to get through the inning, bringing his total up to a very efficient 19 pitches through two innings.


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Third Inning

The Springfield Cardinals string together some hits and a sacrifice bunt this inning, but the defense bails Kershaw out of trouble. They nab the runner at home on the final play of the inning to keep his start scoreless through three. Kersh needs 14 pitches to get through the third, bringing his total up to 33 through three.

Fourth Inning

A fly out to right field, a groundout to short, and another flyout to right gets Kershaw through the inning quickly. He uses up 7 more pitches to put his total at forty through four. Kershaw s pounding the strike zone and has only thrown nine balls up to this point.

Fifth Inning

Perhaps the best inning for either of Kershaw’s rehab starts. He strikes out two and gets a groundout on just twelve pitches to put his total at 52. The Dodgers ideally wanted him to get in six innings of work and around 60-75 pitches if possible.

Sixth Inning

The man really is human. Two minor leaguers go deep off of Clayton Kershaw in what will likely be his final rehab inning before returning to Los Angeles. One of the guys to take him yard is the Cardinals’ 6th ranked prospect, Dylan Carlson. Overall, Kershaw tosses six innings and gives up two earned runs for Tulsa.

Analysis

It’s easy to look at this start and be a little bit embarrassed that Kershaw had a total of three homeruns hit off of him by minor leaguers. But the fact that he was consistently hitting the strike zone with his pitches tells me that Kershaw is already feeling better, those guys just took advantage of the fact that he was throwing a lot of fastballs over the plate. His velocity was reportedly sitting at just a tick over 88, which is the most concerning part for me.

Kershaw’s fastball had been slowly climbing all Spring, up until his shoulder injury put him on the shelf. If he is able to make a start for Los Angeles on Sunday or Monday, his velocity will certainly be something to keep an eye on. The Dodgers will already be without Hyun-jin Ryu and Rich Hill for a while, both recovering from injuries.

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