Clayton Kershaw exits early and Dodgers lose opener of doubleheader – Daily Bulletin

The Force was not strong in this one.

Clayton Kershaw allowed four runs and threw 39 pitches in the first inning of Tuesday’s doubleheader and the Dodgers went on to lose, 7-1, in the seven-inning game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

The 39 pitches in the first inning were the most Kershaw has ever thrown in the opening inning of a start – and he didn’t stick around to throw any others. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts pulled Kershaw after one inning, the shortest start of Kershaw’s major-league career. His previous shortest start – 1-1/3 innings at home against the Milwaukee Brewers – also came on May the Fourth in 2010.

“It just wasn’t good,” Kershaw said. “It’s embarrassing. No excuses. I was horrible.

“Obviously that’s Doc’s decision (to pull him after one inning). … Obviously I would have liked to continue to go. But when you’re that bad, you really can’t stand up for yourself too much.”

By pulling Kershaw so quickly, the Dodgers have created a potential solution for their starting pitching dilemma this weekend. Before the game, Roberts said the Dodgers would likely resort to another “bullpen game” during the series in Anaheim (Friday or Saturday, most likely). Kershaw now becomes a candidate to pitch on short rest Saturday instead.

“The short rest conversation, we’ll have that conversation,” Roberts said. “We’ll decide in our opinion what is the best for Clayton and the Dodgers here in the next day or two. We’ll talk about it.”

Kershaw and the Dodgers’ offense each came into Tuesday’s doubleheader on good rolls, but neither survived the opener.

Kershaw had gone 4-1 with a 1.16 ERA, 0.73 WHIP and .171 batting average against in five starts since his Opening Day loss at Coors Field. After striking out Willson Contreras to start his day Tuesday, though, the next six batters reached base against Kershaw, including a double by Kris Bryant, an RBI single by Anthony Rizzo and a three-run double by David Bote.

Along the way, Kershaw spiked breaking balls in the dirt well in front of home plate multiple times and managed to walk Javier Baez, who came into the game with 39 strikeouts and just one walk in his first 24 games this season.

“I could overanalyze it and try to think about it. But honestly I have no idea. They were just horrible,” Kershaw said. “Everything was bad. So I’m not going to try to analyze it too much. Just hope this was an outlier and get ready for the next one.”

The Cubs scored twice more in the third inning against right-hander Dennis Santana. With runners on second and third, Santana threw a wild pitch to score one run and the runner from second also scored when catcher Austin Barnes threw wildly back to home plate. Jake Marisnick added a solo home run in the sixth inning.

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