Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Feels Need To Do ‘More Work’

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Clayton Kershaw wasn’t overly dominant but the Los Angeles Dodgers continued their winning ways with a 7-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves in the opener of a three-game series, improving to a perfect 5-0 on their first homestand of the regular season.

Kershaw earned a win after allowing four runs on six hits with seven strikeouts over five innings pitched. “I thought I threw the ball OK,” he said after the game.

“Just the sixth inning, their top of the lineup, facing them for the third time and my stuff wasn’t as crisp. I don’t know if I ran out of gas or whatever, but they made my pay that sixth inning.”

Kershaw’s start on Monday was his first time on the mound since beginning the season with seven perfect innings against the Minnesota Twins. Like in his 2022 debut, he wasn’t as sharp at the end of the outing.

After keeping Atlanta off the scoreboard through four innings, Kershaw allowed a two-out solo home run to Guillermo Heredia in the top of the fifth. More trouble came in the sixth when Ozzie Albies led off with a home run of his own.

Matt Olson followed that with a single and Austin Riley hit a ground-rule double that knocked Kershaw out of the game at five-plus innings. “We’ll find out. I would assume so,” Kershaw answered when asked if the start of the season is to blame for his struggles late into an outing.

“It’s just early and all the things factored in, but for the most part there’s definitely some good things happening for myself. It’s just that one inning is frustrating at this point.”

Despite not finishing his start against the Braves on a high note, Kershaw has jumped out to a 2-0 record with a 3.00 ERA, 1.93 FIP and 0.50 WHIP in his first two games of the season.

“Yeah, 11 out of 12 innings I’ll take. It’s just that last one is frustrating. But thankfully we had a lead,” Kershaw said when asked if he is pleased with his first two starts of the year.

“Our guys swung the bats really well and we got a win. That’s huge. That’s a good team over there, so if you don’t have your best stuff third time through the order, they’ll make you pay. It just shows I’ve got a little more work to do to get my stamina built up and ready to go.”

Kershaw: Improving with each start more of a ‘process’

Now in his age-34 season, Kershaw has a different outlook on improving with each start throughout the course of a season. “I would probably say I didn’t even view it as a process before,” he began.

“It was just like, season starts and you put your foot on the gas for seven months and see where you are at the end. Between the lockout, injury and all that stuff, it definitely is a little bit more of a process.

“With October, hopefully you’re peaking. That’s the goal. We’ll see what happens, but that’s definitely the goal.”

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