Clayton Kershaw said his shoulder got “a little cranky” in the sixth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies and that he was diagnosed with inflammation. The Dodgers left-hander received a cortisone injection and remains hopeful that he’ll be able to make at least one more start before the All-Star break.
“I’ve had some shoulder stuff in the past, like three or four years ago, and usually the shots help pretty good,” Kershaw said before Thursday night’s series finale against the Rockies. “So I’m somewhat optimistic that I should be good. But obviously, with the All-Star break coming up, we have some time to potentially shift things around.”
Manager Dave Roberts said the initial plan was for Kershaw, who is 10-4 with a 2.55 ERA in 16 games, to make two more starts at home before the break, against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday and the Angels on July 8.
But if Kershaw is not ready to start by Monday, “we’ve got to pivot,” Roberts said. “We’re not going to put him in harm’s way. If we all come together and collectively say, ‘It makes sense to make your start,’ great. If it doesn’t, we’re fine with that, too.”
Kershaw, the only pitcher from the team’s opening-day rotation to not go on the injured list, said he should know when he resumes throwing on Friday or Saturday in Kansas City if he’ll be able to start on Monday.
“I’m not gonna be stupid,” he said. “I think if I feel good, I’ll pitch, and if it feels like it needs a few days or need to wait through the break, I’ll do that, too. But I don’t think it’s gonna be a long-term thing or anything like that, regardless.”
Kershaw faced the minimum 18 batters and threw only 79 pitches in Tuesday night’s 5-0 win, but they were at high altitude on a 90-degree night. After Brenton Doyle broke up his no-hitter with two outs in the sixth, Kershaw pulled himself from the game at the end of the inning.
“The ball wasn’t coming out as good as I wanted it to there in the sixth inning,” Kershaw said. “Obviously with a no-hitter, I was just trying to keep it going. But once I gave up the hit, I just felt like it was progressively not staying the same, it was starting to get a little worse, so I felt like I should probably shut it down.”
Roberts said he would not be opposed to putting Kershaw on the injured list now and giving the three-time National League Cy Young Award winner almost three weeks to rest and recover before making his first start after the break.
Kershaw prides himself on being a bulldog, on fighting through minor aches and pains to deliver quality start after quality start, but he probably won’t fight the Dodgers if they do decide to shut him down next week.
“If I feel good, I don’t want to stop pitching,” Kershaw said. “But if I do feel like I need a little reset, this is probably as good a time as any to do it.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.
Source: Yahoo Sports