We have reached the end of May at the Clayton Kershaw daily, where we look back at every game of Clayton Kershaw’s career, on their anniversary dates. On May 31 we have the final two of his 61 May starts to date.
Kershaw received a pair of no-decisions on May 31, the first of which came in 2013 against the Rockies in Denver.
Kershaw pitched into the eighth inning in this one, one of only four times he’s done that in 22 starts at Coors Field. Three straight singles in the fourth inning led to two runs for the Rockies, but for the most part he kept Colorado at bay.
It was 5-2 heading into the eighth inning thanks in large part to Kershaw. From my game recap: “Kershaw not only pitched into the eighth inning but also had two hits, including a two-run double in the fourth inning to help his own cause.”
Singles by Dexter Fowler and Troy Tulowitzki to open the eighth inning ended Kershaw’s night, one of whom scored against Kenley Jansen. That 5-3 lead didn’t hold up in the ninth for Brandon League, but the Dodgers rallied for two in the 10th to win it.
Kershaw’s next May 31 start came in 2018, which looking at Kershaw’s game log stands out like a deserted island. Left biceps tendonitis cost Kershaw four weeks leading up to this start, and he was activated to start this Sunday afternoon home game against the Phillies.
When Kershaw is full strength and pitching every five days, his fastball sits at 92 to 94 mph. In 62 pitches on Thursday afternoon, Kershaw threw only 18 fastballs and just seven of those touched 90-mph.
The 30-year-old tossed only four fastballs in the final three innings but it wouldn’t matter as he struck out the final three batters he faced on a steady diet of breaking balls.
Kershaw’s back tightened up during the game, and he would miss the next three weeks, making this the lone start for Kershaw in a 52-day period in 2018.
2013: 7+ IP, 8 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts
2018: 5 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
Up next: Rolling sevens on June 1