Clayton Kershaw has two career starts on May 4, both against the Brewers. One good, one bad, and one memorable tweet.
Kershaw’s first May 4 start came in 2010 against the Brewers at home, the 57th start of Kershaw’s career.
This was Kershaw’s first start of May, after an April that saw him walk 22 batters in 29⅓ innings, the worst control month of his career. He didn’t get much of a chance to walk many in this one, though Kershaw did walk two and hit two batters, while recording only four outs.
Milwaukee scored nine runs in the second inning, including seven off Kershaw, whose only out recorded in the frame was striking out opposing pitcher Chris Narveson. The final blow against Kershaw was a two-run shot by Prince Fielder.
This was a bad one. From Phil Gurnee’s game recap:
In his brief history he had never given up more then five runs in an inning. In his brief history he had never given up more then four runs in a Chavez Ravine start. Let us hope he never tops the numbers for this game.
Kershaw’s outing also spawned one of the most famous tweets in Dodgers Twitter history:
kershaw may be regressing faster than billingsley. not sure. close competition. #howcanbradpennybebetterthanboth?— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 5, 2010
Kershaw, then just 22, had a 4.99 ERA and 16.6-percent walk rate in his six starts in 2010, and a 3.52 career ERA. But Kershaw managed to distance himself from Brad Penny comparisons, thanks to a 2.54 ERA over his final 26 starts of the season.
In 2015, Kershaw faced the Brewers again on May 4, but this time in Milwaukee. The Brewers won this one too, though not as forecefully.
Kershaw’s only hit allowed through five innings was by pitcher Kyle Lohse, but then back-to-back triples in the sixth inning gave the Brewers their first run. From my game recap:
He entered the eighth inning at just 75 pitches and with a 3-1 lead, but a one-out home run by Hector Gomez followed by a double from Adam Lind ended Kershaw’s night before he would have liked.
The Dodgers needed a deep outing out of Kershaw after the Dodgers used seven relievers on Sunday, ending a busy weekend of relief for a bullpen that entered Monday with a string of 26 consecutive scoreless innings.
Chris Hatcher entered with the tying run on second base, but allowed a double and single to his first three batters, allowing the Brewers to score the tying and winning runs.
Kershaw’s 7⅓ innings was the longest outing by a Dodgers starter to that point in the season.
2010 (L, 1-2): 1⅓ IP, 5 hits, 7 runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
2015: 7⅓ IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 8 strikeouts
Up next: No Kershaw starts on Cinco de Mayo, but we’ll be back with three games on May 6.