Phillies 2, Dodgers 1: Clayton Kershaw returns with an 87-88 mph fastball

The Dodgers came into today looking for their fourth series win in a row, but came away with a series split after Aaron Nola dominated in a 2-1 victory for the Phillies.

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Clayton Kershaw came off the disabled list from biceps tendinitis to make this afternoon’s start and it was worrisome as hell. While his velocity was already a concern before the injury, it started down at least a tick further at 88-90 mph and was down to 86-88 by the 3rd inning.

Because he’s Kershaw, he did manage to go five innings on 62 pitches, striking out five and allowing just a single run on a four hits and a walk. Hell, the run shouldn’t have even counted.

Still, just looking at the line is a mistake. Kershaw looked like a completely different pitcher out there and not in a good way. The only hope I can take from this is it was basically a rehab start in the majors and maybe the arm strength ticks up. I dunno, man.

Update: Not great.

On the other end, things were predictably grim against Phillies ace Nola, though they did manage to tie the game in the 5th. Yasiel Puig got into scoring position with a double and he advanced to third when Breyvic Valera grounded out to second. Puig then scored after Enrique Hernandez managed to punch a single past the drawn-in infield.

That left work to do for the bullpen yet again, and Pedro Baez battled to strike out the side in the 6th. However, in the 7th, Josh Fields coughed up the lead but it wasn’t all on him. With two outs, he gave up a single and then seemingly gave up another, but it turned into a double that scored the go-ahead run after Puig couldn’t pick up the ball in right due to the sun. The pen rebounded with Tony Cingrani and Kenley Jansen, who got scoreless 1-2-3 innings in the 8th and 9th, respectively.

Didn’t matter as the offense was again lifeless, and for as much is made about the bullpen, it certainly seems like the loss of Corey Seager is what’s hurting most game-in and game-out, especially since Cody Bellinger basically cannot hit anymore.

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The Dodgers are now 26-30 overall, which is honestly shit. The Rockies were off today, so the Dodgers are now four games back of them in the NL West.

The division-leading Rockies await in the Dodgers in Colorado for a game starting at 2:40 PM HST/5:40 PM PST/8:40 PM EST. The Dodgers will probably have a bullpen game or send Dennis Santana to the mound to make his debut, and the Rockies will give Tyler Anderson the ball.

About Chad Moriyama

Chad Moriyama
"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times