Clayton Kershaw went 11 days between starts and the Los Angeles Dodgers are again giving him extra rest before facing the San Francisco Giants.
Although that stretch is not going to be as drastic as it was after Kershaw struggled against the Miami Marlins, he at minimum will be on one extra day of rest if taking the mound Friday.
Ryan Pepiot handled a bulk role on Tuesday and Bobby Miller is penciled in for the series finale against the Detroit Tigers. The Dodgers are in need of a starter on Thursday, but it won’t be Kershaw.
“Clayton will be scheduled sometime this weekend,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He’ll pitch against the Giants.”
Kershaw’s fastball velocity remained down in his four innings against the Mariners, but the longtime ace saw an improvement in command. Whereas Kershaw walked five batters against the Marlins, he only put two Mariners on base, and both came in the first inning.
Moreover, he allowed just two hits.
The 34-year-old is looking to get back into the rhythm he had throughout the first half of the season. Kershaw has been unable to replicate that since going on the 15-day injured list because of left shoulder inflammation.
Kershaw has downplayed the severity and impact of his shoulder injury, though Roberts recently allowed for the trouble to be a factor behind some of the unusual struggles.
Kershaw nevertheless is 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA and held opponents to a .189/.291/.433 batting line in six starts since coming off the IL. However, he’s yet to pitch past five innings in any of those outings and has a 6.07 FIP over that stretch.
Clayton Kershaw’s fastball velocity
Roberts and Dodgers pitching coach Mark Prior both brushed aside concern with Kershaw’s fastball velocity not getting above 90 mph in either of his past two starts.
Roberts believes mechanical adjustments will help lead to an increase in Kershaw’s fastball that has averaged 88 mph his last two times out.
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