Scott Kazmir lasted just 2⅔ innings on Monday, his shortest start of the season, and was dealing with back and neck issues leading up to and during the game. He will be examined by team doctors on Tuesday once the team returns to Los Angeles.
"It's something that has been irritating me just a little bit,” Kazmir said, as seen on SportsNet LA. “I've been fighting through it, but when you're putting up numbers like this you really want to go out there and get it addressed.”
Kazmir allowed four runs on six hits, walking three with only one strikeout. He has a 5.68 ERA in four August starts, with more walks (13) than strikeouts (10) in his 19 innings.
"Scott is fighting some physical things with his body,” manager Dave Roberts said, again as seen on SportsNet LA. "Where he's at right now, consistently trying to execute pitches is tough for him. He's out of rhythm."
On a team that has used 29 different pitchers and has placed 26 different players on the disabled list, Kazmir has been one of the relatively healthy Dodgers in 2016. He leads the club in starts (25) and is second in innings (135⅓) to Kenta Maeda, who makes his 25th start on Tuesday night.
Kazmir described the issue making it difficult to turn his head at times, and other times affecting his mechanics, causing him to fly open during his delivery.
"We worked on it pretty much the entire time in between starts and it pretty much got worse,” Kazmir said. “I can feel like this and get it done, that's just the competitiveness in me. But when you put up numbers like that and have the bullpen put up a lot of work in one day, that's tough to swallow. We're going to see what's going on and go from there.
“I fully intend on making my next start.”
The Dodgers’ rotation is very much in flux at the moment. Kazmir’s uncertain status gets added to the pile, along with scheduled Thursday starter Brett Anderson currently dealing with blisters on his left hand. Bud Norris, who made his first start off the disabled list on Friday but couldn’t get out of the fourth inning, pitched in relief on Monday.
It may very well have just been a throw day for Norris, who faced five batters, rather than indicative of a new role, but even during his inning Roberts and team trainer Nate Lucero visited the mound after Norris bent over and appeared to grimace after a pitch, though Norris remained in the game.
Ross Stripling rejoined the team on Monday in Cincinnati, but as someone optioned on Friday can’t be activated yet unless replacing someone going on the disabled list. Or the paternity list, which is another option given that Rob Segedin’s wife is due to deliver their son this week.
Dodgers starting pitchers are averaging 4.40 innings per start in 19 games in August.
"For us, we still have to find innings,” Roberts said.