There were lots of interested parties watching Clayton Kershaw throw his two innings today in an intrasquad game.
And on the 13th day, there was baseball.
The Dodgers held a four-inning intrasquad game today on the minor league side of Camelback Ranch, and all eyes were watching as Clayton Kershaw through two innings against a group of minor league hitters. With Matt Treanor catching him, Kershaw threw 25 pitches in his two innings, topping out at 93 MPH. Kershaw struck out five, induced one ground out, and allowed a dribbler to second base for a single off the bat of Jake Lemmerman.
While not the ideal situation in which to pitch, today's intrasquad affair allowed Kershaw to stay on rotation in preparation for his Cactus League debut on Friday, March 9.
"It's difficult to get the same feeling [as a game], but at the same time it's a good transition to go from live batting practice to this, then once you get in the games you're free to prepare for it."
Kershaw said he threw one changeup.
Treanor called pitches for Kershaw and Gorman Erickson did the same for Chris Capuano, who threw two innings of his own. Capuano struck out two in his two innings, allowing only one baserunner, who reached via error.
"I felt my command wasn't as sharp as I'd like it to be, but I also know that's a normal part of spring training. You naturally overthrow a bit once hitters get in there," said Capuano. "You can be in the bullpen and your command is perfect, but as soon as the hitter gets in there you muscle up and try to do a little extra."
Catchers called their own balls and strikes, which led to a funny situation when Treanor called out Erickson the batter on a curve from Kershaw. "That's catcher on catcher crime," joked Capuano.
Which reminds me, always check that autocorrect on your phone, people:
Perhaps the toughest task of all was that of the minor league hitters, many of whom just reported to minor league camp this weekend and haven't even faced live batting practice yet. Their first assignment was to face Kershaw and Capuano (followed by Stephen Fife and Will Savage, respectively). When asked for sympathy for the plight of the minor leaguers, Don Mattingly just smiled and said, "That's tough."
Rubby De La Rosa turned 23 years old today.
Today is the 100th anniversary of the groundbreaking of Ebbets Field. Chris Jaffe has more information at The Hardball Times, along with several other historical items, such as the BBWAA voting to renaming the Rookie of the Year award the Jackie Robinson Award 9,000 days ago.
The Dodgers' Cactus League schedule starts tomorrow, with the Dodgers facing the White Sox in a road game at Camelback Ranch. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. PST.