LOS ANGELES -- After beating the Rockies on Wednesday night, 4-2, Clayton Kershaw had another career first: the first time he publicly ripped an opponent.The Dodgers ace's anger was aimed at Rockies starter Tyler Anderson, who held up the start of the game walking slowly from the bullpen to the
LOS ANGELES -- After beating the Rockies on Wednesday night, 4-2, Clayton Kershaw had another career first: the first time he publicly ripped an opponent.
The Dodgers ace's anger was aimed at Rockies starter Tyler Anderson, who held up the start of the game walking slowly from the bullpen to the dugout with his catcher and coach in foul ground and forcing a delay of Kershaw's first pitch by about a minute. Kershaw waited impatiently, at one point pacing off the mound in annoyance.
"That was one of the more disrespectful things I've been a part of in a game," said Kershaw. "I really didn't appreciate that. The game starts at 7:10, it started at 7:10 here for a long time. Just go around or finish earlier. That wasn't appreciated, for sure. Not going to say any more, I'll get in trouble."
Trouble was waiting for Kershaw after that delay, as the first three Rockies reached base -- a walk to Charlie Blackmon and singles by DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado to load the bases. Kershaw minimized the damage in the 27-pitch inning to a sacrifice fly by Mark Reynolds. He struck out 10 in seven innings, including the last three batters he faced.
"Starting off bang, bang, bang, bases loaded, fortunate to get out of that with only one run," said Kershaw, who sandwiched strikeouts of Carlos Gonzalez and Gerardo Parra around the Reynolds sac fly. "Got my pitch count under control after that inning to make it through seven. That first inning could have spiraled out of control. I'm thankful I got out of that, for sure."
Kershaw insisted the delay did not cause his rocky start.
"I guess overall I was probably overthrowing that first inning, maybe hopped up and overthrowing the slider and leaving some pitches up," he said.
Anderson said he did not mean any disrespect, but he had simply thrown a few extra warmup pitches in the bullpen.
"It wasn't intentional at all," he said. "We were in foul territory. I was surprised that they wouldn't let him pitch. So we started jogging."
Starting with the strikeout of Gonzalez, Kershaw retired 12 consecutive batters. Colorado's second run scored in the sixth on a leadoff double by LeMahieu and a one-out single by Stephen Cardullo. By that time, a Dodgers lineup filled with bench players had built a 4-1 lead with a Scott Van Slyke homer in the second inning and a three-run fifth built around doubles from fill-ins Chris Taylor (two doubles in the game) and Enrique Hernandez (who also tripled).
Kershaw used 70 pitches in the six innings after the Rockies' first. He said he felt strong enough to pitch the eighth, but understood manager Dave Roberts' call to finish off the game with Luis Avilan, Sergio Romo and Kenley Jansen, who had his second four-out save in a week.
"We take Kenley for granted," said Kershaw. "It's such a luxury to have a guy, there's really no panic. One-run lead, come in with guys on base, you just have a really good feeling you're going to win the game."
Kershaw is 10-0 in his last 11 starts at Dodger Stadium.
"Obviously a place that's home, you know what to expect," he said. "The beauty of pitching in L.A, perfect weather, perfect mound, perfect situation. You hope you pitch well in your home park and it just so happens mine is the best in baseball."
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.