Kershaw Makes First Spring Start, Fans Allowed at Dodger Stadium for Regular Season

(Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

In his 2021 Cactus League debut, Clayton Kershaw made his first start since the 2020 World Series, as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Kansas City Royals by a score of 7-5 on Friday afternoon in Surprsie, AZ. No. 22 pitched two innings, allowing two hits and striking out two batters on 22 pitches—seemingly, the true definition of “deuces wild.”

Kershaw said he felt good and that he threw a changeup, a pitch he only threw twice all of last season.

The Dodgers struck early courtesy of a Gavin Lux RBI and some good Chris Taylor base running in the top of the second inning. After Kershaw exited, Mike Kickham came in relief and allowed three runs in 2 ⅔ innings. The Royals got an RBI double from Adalberto Mondesi and a home run from Michael A. Taylor to go on top, 3-1.

In the top of the fifth inning, Taylor who had missed the beginning of Spring Training with a sore neck, launched a grand slam to left-center field, putting the Dodgers out front, 5-3.

Alex Vesia and Andre Jackson came in relief for Kickham and each would post a scoreless inning, both looking quite effective.

The Dodgers loaded up the bases again in the sixth inning, and Omar Estevez knocked in a RBI sacrifice fly. Kody Hoese, the organization’s promising third base prospect, hit a homerun in the the top of the 8th inning,

The Royals added a couple runs off of James Pazos and Enny Romero, in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively.

Romero closed out the game for the Dodgers after allowing an unearned run in the ninth. It was a nice bounce-back game for the Dodgers after falling to the Cubs 7-0 on Thursday, even though it is Spring Training.

The Dodgers will face the Padres on Saturday, in what can be a little preview of what promises to be a very competetive battle for the NL West..

Trevor Bauer will make his second spring start and will face off against right hander Chris Paddack.

First pitch is 12:05 p.m. Pacific time.

The Dodgers also announced the return of fans for the 2021 season in a statement posted online. The team is continuing to work with Los Angeles County health officials and the governor’s office. As it stands right now, L.A. County is only allowing no more than 100 fans, with sales of concessions and ticket sales to fans outside the region.

However, it is expected by Opening Day that the county will move to the red tier, which will allow 11,200 fans plus the sale of concessions.

Manager Dave Roberts provided some thoughts on fans returning.

“That’s fantastic, last year not having fans in the regular season, any amount of fans is great for all of us,” said Roberts.

5 thoughts on “Kershaw Makes First Spring Start, Fans Allowed at Dodger Stadium for Regular Season

  1. Remember how spring training ticket prices got crazy because of reduced capacity? Can you imagine what an opening day ticket would cost you if they only allow 100 fans into the park on opening day?

    Anyone lucky enough to get their hands on one of those 100 tickets would have a better investment for resale than if they had bought Bitcoin on the first day it was issued. OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but really, how do you determine who gets those 100 tickets? And how do you prevent them from re-selling them? The only person who could afford one of those seats in the after market would be Trevor Bauer.

    Here’s hoping we get to whatever level is necessary to allow 20% capacity. If that happens, Andy and Dennis are buying tickets for all of us and we’re having the first TBPC convention at Dodger Stadium on opening day. See you all there!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The fight inning? I did not know they had an inning dedicated to fighting! Awesome! Come to a baseball game and watch Hockey break out! I am not sold on Neuse at all. I think both Rios and Lux are roster locks. Beaty is on the bubble, especially if Peter’s continues to hit. He has only struck out twice. But he has 3 hits and 3 walks. McKinstry is making a solid case also. I think Davidson has no shot even if he can pitch some. Peters is also working out at first base to make himself more versatile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree with all your roster conclusions Bear, but we need to remember that ST still has almost 4 weeks to go and a lot can change in that time. It’s much more important how a guy finishes the last couple weeks than how he starts the first couple. I’m happy to see Lux doing well so far and really hope it continues.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I know, but I just do not see it from Neuse yet. He has a lot to prove to me that he belongs over anyone else on the roster. Personally, I want to see Peters make it and really show some RH pop. The HR’s that Taylor and Hoese hit today were impressive.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Chris Taylor is very underrated. I wonder how hard AF will try to keep him when his contract expires after this year. He’s making $7.8MM this year which, if you go by the accepted standard of approximately $8MM/WAR means he’s being underpaid. Someone might be happy to offer him a starting job and he might just pull a Kike and leave. Of course, I’m not sure if Kike’s leaving was more his decision or Andrew’s. I guess we’ll know next winter how it all plays out.

        Liked by 2 people

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