After pulling out an extra-innings win over the San Diego Padres on Sunday, the Los Angeles Dodgers departed for Texas to play their first game in Arlington, now Global Life Park, since 2009. However before arriving, the team plane was first diverted to LAX due to mechanical issues.
The delay ran two hours long and the Dodgers arrived at their hotel shortly after 4 a.m. Central Time Monday morning. The in-season trip to the Lone Star State was a homecoming of sorts for Clayton Kershaw, who attended Highland Park High School, located in Dallas, with Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.
The Dodgers’ pitching rotation aligned as such Kershaw isn’t catching the Texas Rangers in Arlington, but instead on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium. When asked if he wished he was taking the mound in his home state, Kershaw said he does not, via Time Warner Cable SportsNet LA:
No. It’s so hectic just with friends and family it’s kind of nice just to be able to see people and enjoy your time at home. I’m pitching against them in a couple of days, so I’ll get ready for them when we go back home.”
Whereas Carlos Frias and Brett Anderson faced an extra bat with the designated hitter in play on Monday and Tuesday, Kershaw pointed to him not having to start under the same condition as another reason he’s glad to not be pitching at Global Life Park.
Kershaw also reflected on being back at the stadium where he spent plenty a childhood days attending Rangers games:
I loved coming to games. A friend of mine had season tickets in the second deck right above the visitors dugout, so I got to come and watch a lot. This was my team growing up. I loved watching them. Will Clark is my favorite player.”
Kershaw takes the mound Wednesday 3-0 with 39 strikeouts over his last four starts, allowing just three earned runs in 28.1 innings pitched, good for a 0.94 ERA. Additionally, his 2.16 xFIP is best among starting pitchers and opponents are slashing .141/.198/.222 over the four-game stretch.