For years, Clayton Kershaw has dominated on Opening Day. However, yesterday was the first time he actually looked human in the first game of the season.
Entering Thursday’s opener, Kershaw owned a 1.06 career ERA through his first eight career starts on Opening Day, the best in Major League Baseball dating back to 1913. Well, he no longer holds that title, as he allowed five runs on 10 hits in LA’s loss to kick off their 2021 campaign.
“Wasn’t great,” Kershaw said when asked what he thought of his outing.
Yeah, he summed it up pretty well I think.
Overall, it just wasn’t a great afternoon for Kershaw, who rarely has this kind of a performance. In 5 2⁄3 innings of action he allowed 10 hits and allowed six runs (five earned) to score. Most notably, he only had two strikeouts on the afternoon. That was the first time he had only two strikeouts in at least five innings of action since June 24, 2019.
Kershaw threw 77 pitches, but only had six whiffs from Rockies hitters. It was his slider that wasn’t working, as he just couldn’t get hitters to swing and miss.
“It was good enough to get groundballs, but I didn’t get the swing and miss stuff.” Kershaw said.
Dave Roberts also added that he thought Kershaw’s slider didn’t look particularly good, but said that his outing wasn’t as bad as it appeared.
“He still gave us a chance to win,” Roberts said. “There were some pitches he’d like to have back. There were some balls that found some holes. I don’t think his slider had the depth it typically does. It just didn’t have the bite it usually does.”
That’s what happens when you play at Coors Field. Hopefully for Kershaw, his next outing in Oakland will go a lot better than this one.