Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, 35, lost the win after a bullpen meltdown that saw him give up six runs in six innings of two-run ball. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is clearly frustrated with his bullpen’s repeated struggles.
Kershaw started the Dodgers’ 2023 World Series home opener against the Chicago White Sox at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, on Friday (July 15) and got off to a quality start, allowing two runs on six hits (two homers) and two walks with five strikeouts in six innings.
Both runs came on home runs. He gave up a solo home run to Jake Berger in the second inning. A 91.9 mph four-seam fastball was hit into the center field seats. It was Burger’s 14th home run of the season. He added another run in the third on a solo home run to left field off Luis Robert Jr. on a 73.7-mph curveball on the third pitch. Robert’s 16th home run of the season.
Kershaw, however, would not allow another run until the sixth inning to complete the quality start. Totaled 97 pitches, 64 strikes and 33 balls. Topped out at 93 mph (149.7 km/h) and averaged 91.4 mph (147.1 km/h) with a four-seam fastball (35), slider (45), and curve (17).
Kershaw maintained a 2.95 ERA and needed nine wins to win the season. The Dodgers offense was held scoreless through five innings, but broke through with four runs in the sixth on a pair of errors and a fielder’s choice. On a 2-2 pitch, Mookie Betts hit an RBI double.
With the lead, the Dodgers turned to their bullpen in the seventh. Yancy Almonte pitched a scoreless seventh, but gave up a double to Eloy Jimenez and a two-run homer to Berger in the eighth to tie the game at 4-4. Reliever Alex Vecchia also 안전놀이터 allowed the comeback, walking Andrew Benintendi on a hit-by-pitch and then giving up a bases-loaded single to Frazier on a wild pitch.
The Dodgers lost the will to chase in the ninth as Taylor Scott struggled, allowing three runs on two hits and one walk with one strikeout in ⅔ of an inning. The White Sox rallied for an 8-4 victory. Berger went 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs, including his 14th-15th multi-homer game of the season. With the win, the White Sox snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 30-39, while the Dodgers fell to 38-30.
According to ‘MLB.com’, after the game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, “I’m devastated and disappointed. Kershaw pitched his heart out and we couldn’t protect the lead,” Roberts said, adding, “Our bullpen has to do a better job. It’s not a bullpen overload, it’s not a matter of who’s better, they’re getting enough opportunities, they’re learning a lot. They’re getting enough opportunities, they’re learning a lot, and they’ve got to get better.”
The Dodgers’ 4.90 ERA is the second-worst out of 30 teams, behind only the last-place Oakland Athletics (5.74). Closers Evan Phillips (2.55), Bruce deGraterol (1.86), and Shelby Miller (2.57) have been solid, but Almonte (6.75), Beccia (7.02), and Phil Bickford (7.33) have been shaky.