Thursday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, Kershaw threw his first non-Spring Training game of the season. He was slated to go four innings, 60 pitches. That’s just about what he did, going 4 1/3 innings and 61 pitches. Clayton allowed four hits, including a solo home run, two walks, two runs overall, and struck out six.
“It was a good first step,” Kershaw said. “I got through everything I needed to, got up for that fifth inning, got some guys on base, worked out of the stretch and did multiple different things. It was a good day.”
Of his 61 pitches, 41 were strikes, and he was touching 90 with his fastball. He is most likely going to have another rehab start before joining the big league rotation, although the place hasn’t been announced yet. Double-A Tulsa seems the most likely spot, as the other affiliates would be out of town when he would be slated to pitch again.
Meanwhile, as they wait for Kershaw to join them, the Dodgers and their high powered offense head into Denver for their first road trip of the season. The Colorado Rockies must be looking forward to getting back to Coors Field, as their offense has had some troubles getting going. Their first two series were on the road in Florida, where they played against the Miami Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays. They currently sit at a record of 3-4.
They started out strong, scoring 12 runs in the first two games against the Marlins, but then the offense fell flat, mustering only two runs in the last four games, and taking 11 innings to score one run in the last game against the Rays. Only two players, Chris Iannetta and Trevor Story have hit a home run.
As far as pitching goes, the Dodgers are lucky to escape facing German Marquez, the Rockies ace who is currently sporting a nice 0.69 ERA, allowing only one earned run over his 13 innings of work so far this season. They also will miss seeing hometown favorite Kyle Freeland, who has 15 strikeouts in his 11.2 innings so far.
Pitching matchups will start with the Rockies sending Tyler Anderson to the mound to face Kenta Maeda. Anderson allowed five earned runs in five innings in his first outing of the season. Saturday will see Jon Gray against Walker Buehler. Gray collected 10 strikeouts and allowed three runs in 6.2 innings of work against the Rays, ultimately getting the loss in that game. And in the Sunday Night game of the week, Julío Urías will go up against Chad Bettis, who allowed six earned runs in 5.2 innings of work.
The Dodgers offense should have no problem continuing their home run onslaught while at Coors Field. Whether the Dodgers pitching staff, especially the bullpen, can keep the Rockies’ bats cold is another story. Teams go home to right themselves, and the Dodgers will look to simply out-power the Rockies to get a series win.