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Clayton Kershaw day by day: The worst date of his career

3 starts, 3 losses on April 26

Miami Marlins v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

We have a relatively busy day for Clayton Kershaw with three starts on April 26, in what is arguably the worst date of the Dodgers left-hander’s career.

Kershaw’s starts on this date range from 2009 to 2016, and he lost every single one of them. It’s the only date all year that features more than two losses. Let’s take a look back.

Up first is 2009 at Coors Field, with the Dodgers trying to finish off a weekend sweep of the Rockies. But two big innings put an end to that. Home runs in the third inning by Clint Barmes and Ryan Spilborghs put Kershaw behind 4-0, then three singles and two walks in the fifth inning made it 6-0. Kershaw left with the bases loaded, but all three runners scored on a Jeff Baker triple against Scott Elbert. The nine runs are the most Kershaw has allowed in any major league game.

My recap was embarrassingly brief. What a baby.

From Kershaw’s 25th career start, we move ahead two years to his 89th start, in Miami against the then-Florida Marlins. Gaby Sanchez homered in the second inning for the first run against Kershaw, then delivered an RBI groundout two innings later to tie the game at 2-2.

Kershaw’s undoing in this game came at the hands of a Marlins slugger then known as Mike Stanton. From my game recap:

Kershaw threw 65 pitches through five innings, and appeared poised for another long outing. However, after giving up three singles and two walks to the six batters he faced in the inning, Kershaw’s night was done. Facing Stanton with the bases loaded and one out with the game tied at 2-2, Kershaw threw five straight fastballs away, the last of which catching a little too much of the plate. Stanton drove a hard single to right center field to drive in two runs, giving the Marlins their first lead of the night. Kershaw was pulled one batter later after throwing 23 pitches in the inning while only recording one out.

On April 25, 2016, Kershaw appeared to be cruising at home against the now-Miami Marlins, with Don Mattingly now managing against him, it was that same slugger who made his mark on this one. Now known as Giancarlo Stanton.

Kershaw was up 3-0 through five innings, and even had a single and RBI double (off future old friend Tom Koehler) at the plate. Things were going very well. But with one out in the sixth, a double and three singles cut the lead to 3-2, and left two on for Stanton, who crushed a pitch 109 mph off the bat, 433 feet into center field.

From my game recap:

For Kershaw, it marked the 100th regular season home run allowed in his career. It was just the 12th of those with two runners on, and the first since June 9, 2012, to Miguel Olivo of the Marlins.

It marked the fifth time he allowed at least five hits in an inning, and the first time Kershaw allowed five consecutive hits.

Kershaw was still efficient enough outside of those five straight hits to last seven innings, while striking out 10 and walking none. But the damage was done, and he suffered his third loss in three April 26 starts.

On this date, Kershaw has allowed 18 runs in 17 innings for a 9.53 ERA, with 19 strikeouts.

The outings

2009 (L, 0-2): 4.2 IP, 8 hits, 9 runs, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts

2011 (L, 2-3): 5.1 IP, 6 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts

2016 (L, 2-1): 7 IP, 7 hits, 5 runs 10 strikeouts

Up next: A more successful day, with two starts on April 27