After having a mediocre outing in his previous start in spring training, Clayton Kershaw just showed hitters they have cause to be alarmed. The southpaw is back.
The ace for the Los Angeles Dodgers fanned 11 Texas Rangers hitters during six innings of scoreless pitching and the Dodgers defeated Texas 10-2 Thursday. Kershaw gave up a pair of singles while not walking a batter.
On March 17, Kershaw was the loser against Seattle allowing six hits that produced four runs including three homers in just five innings of action.
On Thursday, following the game Kershaw just said that sometimes you have a better day pitching and today was one of those better days.
Texas hitters knew quickly what to expect from the Dodgers’ ace, who fanned the first 4 Rangers hitters he faced. He finished his six innings of work with five straight strikeouts.
Kershaw following the game said that his fastball command was not at the level it needs to be during the regular season. He fell behind on some batters making for longer at bats and a higher pitch count making it difficult to pitch seven to eight innings. Kershaw threw 92 pitches during his six innings of work.
However, overall he said he felt better Thursday than last week with all his pitches finding their target at some point, but his fastball command needed to improve.
Kershaw added that the 92 pitches he threw were more than he would want to throw through six innings of a real game, but was okay for a spring training contest.
He also liked having an extra day off between starts. He is not a pitcher who needs to pitch every five days and will take an extra day that happens to come along.
Kershaw has given up 10 hits, while striking out 28 and walking just 4 in his 21 innings pitched during six starts this spring.
While Texas used a DH, Kershaw took his at bats and walked during the sixth.
On a wild pitch Kershaw reached second then moved to third on a single by Chase Utley.
In the Dodgers’ first inning Utley hit a 2-run shot over the fence, while outfielder Yasiel Puig knocked in a pair of runs in the third with a single.
Los Angeles plated seven runners during the first four innings off Dillon Gee the Texas right-hander.