Both Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers were riding three-game winning streaks heading into Friday’s matchup with the San Diego Padres. Kershaw was coming off a dominant performance against the St. Louis Cardinals and the Dodgers were fresh off a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The reigning National League MVP essentially picked up where he left off, striking out 11 and allowing just one run over 6.2 innings. Kershaw also shook off a Justin Upton first-inning line drive that he said struck him on the “love handle” area of his left hip.
While he certainly pitched well enough to earn a win, that instead went to Yimi Garcia who came on in relief in the seventh and allowed the Padres to take the lead after an error extended the inning and led to a two-run home run. “It’s good to get a [team] win after that, obviously,” Kershaw said while also crediting the Padres for making it difficult on him and the Dodgers bullpen.
After acknowledging the tough position Garcia was put in on the pop up in front of the mound, Kershaw shifted his comments to criticizing his outing. “My fastball command was so bad tonight that my pitch count just kept going up and up and up,” he said of a night where he threw a season high 117 pitches.
“I’m glad I at least got to go back out for the seventh. Obviously, can’t give up that homer and I might be able to finish the seventh, and we might get out of there 2-0 with a win.” As for throwing to A.J. Ellis for the 10th time out of 13 starts this season, including fifth in a row, Kershaw said he enjoys being partnered with Ellis.
He also complimented Yasmani Grandal, along with adding he isn’t sure how the catching situation is being handled.