Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw left his start on Sunday because of tightness on the right side of his lower back, opening a vein of concern as his team marches toward a fifth consecutive National League West title. Kershaw departed after two innings against Atlanta. He missed ten weeks in 2016 after herniating a disk in his lower back. The Dodgers did not provide any information besides the diagnosis of tightness. Kershaw will likely require a battery of tests to determine if he sustained further damage to his back.
A more recognizable version of Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw took the mound at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. Shut out on Tuesday, the Dodgers waited until the ninth inning on Wednesday to score the game's first run. Justin Turner stroked an RBI double off Yankees closer Dellin Betances after Corey Seager reached on a fielding error by second baseman Starlin Castro. Turner scored from third base soon afterward when Betances threw the baseball away trying for a play at the plate. In his second start since missing more than two months because of a herniated disk, Kershaw gave up one hit and struck out five.
A stream of Dodgers officials trotted across the slick grass at Great American Ball Park, bound for the bullpen near the right-field foul pole. Inside the bullpen, for the first time since July 16, Clayton Kershaw was throwing off a mound. The audience included Manager Dave Roberts, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and bench coach Bob Geren. Based on Roberts' estimate, Kershaw threw 22 pitches, and offered another encouraging sign that he could play again for the Dodgers this season. "I thought it was successful," Roberts said.
Clayton Kershaw will not start for the Dodgers on opening day, manager Dave Roberts announced Monday, confirming what has been obvious for weeks and effectively ending Kershaw's franchise-record streak of consecutive opening-day starts at eight. "When he's ready to pitch for us is when he'll pitch for us," Roberts said. A decision on who will start opening day hasn't been made. Ross Stripling will replace Kershaw in the rotation, Roberts announced late Monday night, after the right-hander was dominant over four shutout innings against Texas. Shoulder inflammation sabotaged Kershaw's spring days after Roberts had named him the club's opening-day starter for the ninth straight year.
Sidelined with a lower back strain for the last three weeks, Kershaw indicated the session went "fine" after throwing about 35 pitches before a series opener against San Diego. Kershaw is expected to throw another bullpen session within the next two to three days, Roberts said. Grant Dayton, who has been sidelined with neck issues several times this season, threw a bullpen session in front of a large audience Friday afternoon. The Dodgers activated reliever Luis Avilan from the paternity list before Friday's game.