Former National League MVP, three time Cy Young winner and arguably one of the best pitchers of all time made a rehab start for the Dodgers in Oklahoma City. Clayton Kershaw took the mound against the Omaha Storm Chasers on Saturday night. The Dodgers would end up losing the Saturday night match up by a score of 4-0.
Kershaw pitched 5 strong innings, striking out 8 and allowing 2 hits. Finding the strike zone was also not an issue for Kershaw as he had a 67% strike rate against the 62-69 Storm Chasers.
It was not a rehab assignment that Kershaw was in favor of making, however. The 29 year old pitcher from Dallas, Texas attempted to convince his manager Dave Roberts to skip the rehab assignment and start against the Milwaukee Brewers but Roberts would deny him the request. “He’s earned that respect, to have that conversation,” Roberts said. “Me, Rick and Clayton talked through things, trying to consider everything, and ultimately what’s best for him and the Dodgers. We went through a lot of different scenarios and reasons why and reasons why he shouldn’t, and I think caution won out.” (LA Times)
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been undoubtedly the hottest team in baseball since the all-star break, accumulating an incredible 30-6 record since the mid-summer classic. Kershaw has not appeared in a game for the LA Dodgers since July 23rd, a game in which he suffered a lower-back strain. If the Dodgers are going to win the World Series in 2017, getting their ace on the mound and healthy is undoubtedly at the top of the October wish list for LA.
If the rehab start in OKC is any indication, the big league club is Southern California will be getting the Kershaw everybody has come to expect.
As for Oklahoma City, a playoff spot will be tough as they are 9.5 games behind the Colorado Sky Sox with just 10 games remaining this season. The Dodgers will look to stay alive in the Pacific Coast League as they play a double-header on Sunday against the Storm Chasers.
Colorado’s magic number is at 2, as of Sunday morning.