I’ve wanted to do a stream of consciousness post while watching a Dodgers game, and fortunately/unfortunately Sunday’s game offered me the perfect opportunity.
4:12pm – Clayton Kershaw just used eight pitches to retire the Braves in order. I’m getting tingly. This has all the makings of an unforgettable game.
(Narrator: it would be, but just not how you were thinking.)
4:29pm – No. No no no no no no no no no.
Kershaw winces after making a pitch, apparently only in the 80’s on the radar gun. He finished the inning with a strikeout, but did not return to the game. Ross Stripling replaces him.
4:44pm – Maybe Trayce Thompson should not be the pitch hitter.
Bases were loaded after Forsythe doubled, and Hernandez and Pederson walked. Thompson, pinch hitting for Kershaw, strikes out to end the inning. Sigh.
5:14pm – No word yet on what’s going on with Kershaw. Atlanta leads 1-0.
5:19pm – Dodgers say that Kershaw is dealing with right lower back tightness. Not his arm. Ok. Guess I can deal with that. Wait, Kershaw has dealt with back issues before….
Some random thoughts — Last season, Kershaw spent two months on the DL with a back issue. Two months from now would be late September. Not optimal, but “back” for the playoffs, no pun intended. The Dodgers have enough starters to see Kershaw through an extended DL stint. Yes, there might be a blister issue with McCarthy, but there’s still Wood, Hill, Ryu and Meada. Stripling is an excellent long man. Stewart could be stretched out a little bit, have a couple bullpen games here or there. Maybe the Dodgers trade for Yu Darvish as has been rumored. It’s going to be okay.
5:45pm – Reminded by Twitter that an illness has been going around the Dodgers clubhouse. Maybe Kershaw was just weak from the illness, causing his back to be not as strong. Not exactly sure what to make of that at this time, but a plausible theory, nonetheless.
6:15pm – Lots of hot takes going on on Twitter. Who the Dodgers should trade for now, ranging the gamut from Verlander to Darvish and back again. “Sources” say the Dodgers front offfice were already in talks with another team about a starter. I guess we will see.
6:34pm – Time for another BelliBomb! Cody Bellinger launches his 27th home run of the season to give the Dodgers a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth.
6:40pm – or will he? First two batters for Atlanta single off of Jansen.
6:44pm – “Not-an-outfielder” Chris Taylor makes a great grab to prevent a double and there are two down.
6:45pm – Kenley gives up a three-run homer to Matt Adams. Bad words are said. Matt Adams. Of course. What a day for Jansen to have his first blown save of the season.
6:46pm – Okay. I guess a walkoff it is.
6:50pm – Austin Barnes singles.
6:52pm – Barnes takes second on a wild pitch.
6:53pm – Pederson taps one back to the mound. Barnes to third.
7:05pm – Brandon Morrow comes in and takes care of the side. Chris Taylor is up. Surely, he will win this game for us.
7:08pm – Taylor gets on base with a single, because of course he does.
7:11pm – Seager hits into a fielder’s choice. Taylor erased from the basepaths.
7:15pm – Braves intentionally walk Bellinger. Forsythe up to bat.
7:16pm – Forsythe singles up the middle. Dodgers win 5-4!
I mean, in the grand scheme of things, maybe a loss today doesn’t mean all that much, but thank goodness they won that game. They lost Kershaw, they use almost all of the bullpen, their All-Star closer blows his first save of the season on a three-run homer, and they still find a way to win the game. There’s just no quit, and it’s a team-win, with everyone contributing up and down the roster. Probably sounds cliche, but it’s true.
Also, see, I wasn’t wrong. This was basically a bullpen game, and the Dodgers won. Easy peasy. Right? Right.
Anyway, back to Kershaw. Post game, Roberts told reporters that Clayton felt something on his last warmup pitch of the second inning. There were no shooting pains down his leg or sensations like he got last year. It appears to be more muscular than last year’s disk and nerve injury. There will be scans and followup tomorrow with back specialist, Dr. Robert Watkins. So for now, it doesn’t sound too completely horrible. Kershaw will at least be on the 10-day DL, making him the final of the original five starting pitchers to visit the DL this season.
Give him all the time he needs to rest. This team can absorb the loss for a little while. Even with the announcement that Brandon McCarthy will also return to the DL, when taking into consideration the other pitchers they have, the lead over Arizona and Colorado, the Dodgers are fine for right now. We won’t worry about anything else until we have to. Exhale a little right now, Dodger fans, and we’ll worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.
(FOLLOW ANDY ON TWITTER: @DODGERSANDYINPA)