Thursday, June 13, 2024

Dodgers ‘not too optimistic’ about Kershaw’s availability

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The Los Angeles Dodgers might be without their best pitcher entering the postseason.

Kershaw is dealing with left forearm discomfort and the Dodgers aren’t optimistic about his postseason availability, manager Dave Roberts said after an 8-6 win over the Milwaukee Brewers Friday.

“Where we’re at in the schedule and what’s left of the season, just not too optimistic right now,” Roberts told reporters, including’s Juan Toribio, when asked about Kershaw’s postseason availability. “I don’t really know specifics. But he couldn’t keep pitching, so that’s pretty telling.” 

Kershaw pitched just 1 2/3 innings on Friday night, allowing three runs on five hits before being pulled out of the game. 

Friday’s performance was uncharacteristic. The 33-year-old didn’t pitch at all from July 3 to Sept. 13 due to a forearm/elbow injury. However, he was strong in his first two outings since returning. 

Kershaw told reporters after Friday’s win that his current ailment is “kind of the same thing” he’s been dealing with for a while. He also expressed disappointment in potentially not being able to pitch in the playoffs.

“The biggest thing was I just wanted to be a part of this team through October. That’s the hardest part for me right now, just knowing that chances are that it’s not looking good for October right now.”

The Dodgers have already clinched a postseason spot and remain alive in the battle for the top spot in the NL West, though the San Francisco Giants can clinch the division title with another win or Dodgers loss. L.A. has won eight straight NL West titles.

Should Kershaw miss the start of the postseason, the Dodgers’ rotation will likely include Max Scherzer, who is lined up to pitch the wild-card game, Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and Tony Gonsolin.

As for Kershaw, he finishes the 2021 regular season 10-8 with a 3.55 ERA, 1.019 WHIP and 144 strikeouts across 121.2 innings. He’ll be a free agent once the season ends. 

Kershaw admitted in February he wasn’t sure if he’d sign an extension with the Dodgers. However, he added he has “no intentions” of retiring after the 2021 season. So, he’ll be pitching somewhere even if it’s not in L.A.

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