Clayton Kershaw was a little rusty in his first start in a little over three weeks, lasting three innings while allowing two runs on five hits to the Mets Saturday night.
After throwing a three-inning simulated game in Chicago Monday, this was essentially a major league rehab start for Kershaw, with Caleb Ferguson behind him in the bullpen.
The plan had been for around 60 pitches and four innings but manager Dave Roberts was going to make that decision in-game. Kershaw was at 55 pitches through three innings so there was no sense in throwing him out there for another inning when he wasn’t going to finish it.
Kershaw looked good out of the gate, striking out two in a 12-pitch first inning. Back-to-back doubles in the second to score a run and a 10-pitch walk to catcher Devin Mesoraco brought the pitch count to 30 after the second.
The Mets put together three singles in the third inning to score another run, sealing the end of Kershaw’s night with another 25 pitches.
Chris Taylor pinch-hit for Kershaw in the fourth and came through with a two-run double to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead.
27 of the 55 pitches for Kershaw were fastballs, with 17 at 91 and 92-mph. That’s an improvement from the last time out when the Dodger lefty was sitting in the high-80s, topping out at 90.
Roberts revealed after the game that Ferguson will stay with the team at least through Kershaw’s next start.
Dave Roberts said Caleb Ferguson will stay on the #Dodgers roster for another possible 'piggy-back' situation again when Kershaw starts next week.— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) June 24, 2018
#Dodgers Clayton Kershaw: "Good to be back. Now I can focus on getting better. Health-wise it’s there. Now it’s just a matter of performance. It’s a good first step."— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) June 24, 2018
Kershaw threw another simulated inning in the batting cages underneath after coming out of the game.— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) June 24, 2018