We are back to a two-start day for Clayton Kershaw on April 8, making his 265th and 293rd career starts, respectively.
The first of these April 8 starts game in 2017 against the Rockies, a Saturday night start at Coors Field.
Nolan Arenado took Kershaw deep in the first inning, but this was a 1-1 pitchers duel between Kershaw and Jon Gray into the sixth inning. Home runs were a bugaboo again for Kershaw in the sixth inning, this time notably so.
From my game recap:
Mark Reynolds followed with a bomb to center field, a two-run shot that gave the Rockies a 3-1 lead. Gerardo Parra, who made two fine catches earlier in the game to rob Corey Seager and Yasiel Puig, respectively, of hits, followed with a solo shot to center of his own.
It marked the first time in Kershaw’s career that he allowed back-to-back home runs.
Kershaw has a 4.60 ERA in his career at Coors Field, not to different than his 4.50 ERA in this 2017 game. But he also lasted six innings in this one, something he’s done 15 times in his 22 starts in Colorado, the most such starts by any visiting pitcher against the Rockies, three more than Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux.
Kershaw took the loss in this one, but was on the mound one year later on the road again, but this time in a friendlier park for pitchers. In 2018, Kershaw’s April 8 start was in San Francisco against the Giants, looking to avenge that 1-0 defeat on opening day.
Run support was an issue in that 2017 start, a 4-2 loss in Colorado, but the start of 2018 really saw Kershaw suffering in the support department.
Case in point, this game against Ty Blach, again. The Dodgers led 1-0 into the eighth inning, with Kershaw at just 86 pitches through seven. But two singles, one a bunt by Kelby Tomlinson, chased Kershaw without recording an out in the inning. Buster Posey followed with a game-tying single against reliever JT Chargois.
Kershaw got a no-decision, and at this point in the season saw the Dodgers score two total runs in his 19 innings. He had a 1.89 ERA and an 0-2 record. Baseball.
The Dodgers won this game in the 10th inning on a double from personal Giants tormentor Kyle Farmer.
2017 (L, 1-1): 6 IP, 8 hits, 4 runs, 6 strikeouts
2018: 7+ IP, 6 hits, 1 run, 6 strikeouts
Up next: Another two-start day on April 9, with two California starts seven years apart.