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Clayton Kershaw day by day: Roughed up by the Cardinals

A rough day at the office from 2011

Los Angeles Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt (center) tries to calm down pitcher Clayton Kersh Photo by Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Our Clayton Kershaw project brings us to a single-start day, which will be the case for four of the next five days. This start was a loss to the Cardinals on April 16, 2011 at Dodger Stadium.

Kershaw couldn’t get out of the fifth inning in this one, though his line score was littered with fives — five runs, five walks, five strikeouts, and perhaps most importantly five strikes via swing and miss. Allen Craig ended Kershaw’s night with a three-run home run in the fifth.

There was some scuttlebutt that home plate umpire Joe West wasn’t calling the low strike, though neither Kershaw nor Mattingly worked up in enough lather to make a postgame comment that might result in them getting fined. Kershaw was also having trouble of a different kind against St. Louis.

From my game recap:

Kershaw threw 111 pitches in his 4 2/3 innings, of which 66 were strikes. However, 31 of those pitches were hit foul by St. Louis, a whopping 47% of his strike total. Coming into tonight’s start, Kershaw had allowed 54 foul balls in three starts, an average of 18 per start. His foul balls in both 2011 and in Kershaw’s career had comprised 28% of his strike total before tonight.

The Dodgers got thumped in this game 9-2, their fifth straight loss in the final full season under Frank McCourt ownership. Things were so bad at the time I even devoted part of the recap to how bad the attendance was, and noted the franchise was “nearing a perfect storm of negativity.”

This was Kershaw’s fourth start of the season, and the 87th of his career.

The outing (L, 2-2): 4⅔ IP, 6 hits, 5 runs, 5 walks, 5 strikeouts

Up next: Back to two starts, on April 17.