Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw allowed three runs on five hits in just 1 2/3 innings Friday night before meeting with Dodgers staff — including athletic trainers — and leaving the game with an injury. A few innings later, the Dodgers announced he departed because of “left forearm discomfort.”
Kershaw threw 42 pitches and only retired five of the 10 batters he faced. His fastball velocity didn’t appear to be down or anything, but something was certainly wrong. He didn’t pitch at all from July 3 to Sept. 13 due to a forearm/elbow injury. He was strong in his first two outings after his return but did four runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings to a bad Diamondbacks team last time out.
If Kershaw is to miss any time moving toward the playoffs, the Dodgers’ four-man rotation likely sets up like so (assuming they are the top NL wild card):
If Kershaw is full go, he’s surely preferred over Gonsolin.
As for Kershaw personally, his 2021 regular season is now over. He ends it with a 3.55 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 144 strikeouts against 21 walks in 121 2/3 innings. He was excellent in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, too.
Kershaw is a free agent after the season. He’s not going to ever be Prime Kershaw again, but he can still be a damn good frontline pitcher when he’s healthy. Note the numbers above. Of course, he’s dealt with back injuries a few years and the forearm injury this year is concerning as well.
In the near-term, obviously the Dodgers would like him back on the mound as soon as possible.