Clayton Kershaw doesn’t have to prove to fans that he’s been a benefactor to the Dodgers’ rotation. He doesn’t have to prove that he can pitch at an All-Star caliber in his 16th season as a Dodger.
It would be helpful however, if the lefty could regain his velocity and control, while proving he can be an ace the rotation desperately needs before the regular season concludes.
During his start against the Marlins nearly two weeks ago, Kershaw saw his velocity dip to the lowest it has been all season. Shoulder ailments have hampered his ability to throw above 90 mph and keep the walks at a minimum. Despite the obstacles, Kershaw is solely concerned with proving to himself that he can still be an effective pitcher when the stakes are at their highest, as Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic writes:
“I look at it as an open tryout. I really do. It makes the games more meaningful going down the stretch. Looking forward to the challenge. I think for myself personally, I need it to prove to myself that I’m still good enough.”
- James Outman has already put himself in elite company this season, as he joined none other than Babe Ruth as the only players to hit a go-ahead grand slam in the ninth inning or later for their second home run of the game. During Friday’s game against the Seattle Mariners, Outman became the first rookie in Dodgers history to connect for 20 home runs and steal 15 bases in a single season, tweets Dodger Insider.
- Mookie Betts sat down with Seattle Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford, and the two attempted the Immaculate Grid, discussed topics such as burning sage for good luck, whether or not aliens are real, and the Mariners’ fantasy football team in the latest episode of the podcast On Base with Mookie Betts.
Mookie finally got to put himself on the Immaculate Grid pic.twitter.com/iXyfjcfhBa— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 16, 2023
- Michael Grove, who has been sidelined since August 6 due to lat tightness, is expected to return this weekend when the Dodgers host their rivals in the San Francisco Giants, per Shane Lantz of the Orange County Register. Grove in 12 starts has a 2-3 record with a woeful 6.61 ERA, but has struck out 14 hitters in his past 7 1⁄3 innings pitched.