After nearly a month without their ace, the Dodgers received a boost as Clayton Kershaw returned to the mound against the Mets. Earlier this week, the Dodgers reported that Kershaw would be making a rehab start with Triple-A Oklahoma City. On Friday Dave Roberts made a change of plans, skipping the rehab assignment and giving Kershaw the ball in Citi Field on Saturday.
In Kershaw’s first inning of work, he looked like his familiar form. He struck out the first two batters he faced and only threw 12 pitches that inning. He also threw 91 mph with his first pitch. The last time Kershaw was on the mound, he struggled with his velocity, failing to throw over 90 mph in his start.
Kershaw looked a little rusty after his efficient first inning. He allowed a run in the second inning, allowing back-to back doubles to Michael Conforto and Jose Bautista.
He allowed another run in the third inning, surrendering three base hits. He also threw 25 pitches that inning.
That will do it for Clayton Kershaw. He looked rusty while pitching for the second time since May 1.
He gave up two runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out five.
He finished with 55 pitches — 25 of them in the third inning.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) June 24, 2018
Caleb Ferguson was supposed to start this game before the Dodgers gave the ball to Kershaw. Ferguson still appeared, throwing out of the bullpen. He pitched his best outing of his short career, throwing four innings of shutout baseball. He fell into two jams where he had a runner on third with less than two outs, but came out unscathed both times.
Yimi Garcia and Edward Paredes pitched the final two innings for Los Angeles. Garcia allowed the lone run by the bullpen as he surrendered a home run to Jose Bautista.
Facing Jacob deGrom, the Dodgers were not expected to bring much from the offensive end. DeGrom came into the game with a league-leading 1.51 ERA and was posting a 0.90 ERA over his last 11 starts.
Max Muncy challenged deGrom early with a home run in the first inning. This was his 14th longball of the year and the fifth home run allowed by deGrom.
This is how Max Muncy feels about the pitchers' duel in New York pic.twitter.com/wP8Ql2UFfP
— SI MLB (@si_mlb) June 23, 2018
Trailing 2-1 in the fourth inning, Chris Taylor drove in two runs with a pinch hit double.
Chris Taylor's go-ahead double. https://t.co/zy225PjEoF
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) June 24, 2018
After staying relatively quiet, Dodgers offense erupted in the eighth inning. With Cody Bellinger on third, Kike Hernández executed a squeeze play. Then with the bases loaded, Matt Kemp hit a pinch hit grand slam, extending the lead to 8-2.
ARE YOU SERIOUS, MATT KEMP?!
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) June 24, 2018
The highlight for the Dodgers on Saturday was the return of Kershaw to the mound. Although he only pitched three innings, his return brings momentum to the depleted Dodgers rotation.
Beating the Mets for the second straight day, the Dodgers will win another series in June. Although they lost their last series to the Cubs, they are unbeaten in 10 of their last 11 series.
Rich Hill will make his second start since coming off of the disabled list. He threw six shutout innings against the Cubs in his last outing. The Mets have not announced their starting pitcher. First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 AM PT.
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