Clayton Kershaw took the mound Friday night at Dodger Stadium in search of his first win and looking to lower his ERA that jumped over 5.00 following a rough outing against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace got off to a strong start, recording four strikeouts through the first two innings, including striking out the side in the second. Kershaw needed 104 pitches to get through six innings, lobbied for a seventh but was denied the opportunity as his spot in the order led off in the bottom of the sixth.
Following the win, Kershaw acknowledged improvement from his previous start(s), but was still mindful of wanting to pitch deeper into games. “It was a little bit better,” he said. “Obviously, too many pitches. Give credit to the Rockies for fouling off pitches. My job is to go seven, eight, nine innings every time.”
Kershaw further elaborated on what specifically he was better at on Friday and mentioned location. “I think my fastball location was better tonight,” he said. “I missed up a little bit. Still missed up quite a bit, you saw those two home runs there. I still need to get better with the off-speed stuff.”
Manager Don Mattingly also sensed his ace isn’t yet comfortable with the results. “I still think Clayton’s searching,” Mattingly said. “It seems he’s not totally happy with what’s going on. His slider didn’t seem consistent to me. Obviously, really good still.”
Kershaw has gone at least six innings in each of his three starts, but only once has he pitched into the seventh inning. Friday was the first time this season he worked with Yasmani Grandal and while there at times appeared to be a mix-up between the two, Kershaw was complimentary of the catcher postgame.
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