The Los Angeles Dodgers are eight games below .500. They are seven games behind NL West leaders San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks. They are at, or near the bottom of every offensive category in MLB.
This is all well-known, and most everyone thought it would pass as a bad start and the blue crew would get back on track. So far, that has not happened and it doesn’t appear a turnaround is in sight.
One sign of that is Sunday’s subpar performance by ace Clayton Kershaw. The lefty did not have his best stuff in game three against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals and the Dodgers lost the game — and the series — 5-3.
With the state of baseball in Chavez Ravine being what it currently is, the blue crew can ill afford to lose games when their star pitcher is on the hill. It seems those losses almost count as two, often setting the Dodgers farther back. Kershaw has been the only true bankable performer on the Dodgers’ staff. His record is a decent 5-2, but if the Dodgers were playing better ball behind him, he could feasibly have seven wins.
Sunday’s loss was not an absolute disaster for Kershaw. He did give up four runs on seven hits in only seven innings and walking three was very un-Kershaw like, but the bottom line is that even his bad starts are not that bad and are games the Dodgers could win if they could only score some runs.
There is a chance the former Cy Young award winner is a bit tired. He went the distance in his last start against the Milwaukee Brewers and threw a dangerously high 132 pitches the start with 8.2 innings against the Washington Nationals.
Kershaw is arguable the best left-handed pitcher in pro baseball. He is the future of the Dodgers. They cannot burn him out with their continued lack of run support. If he is not on any particular night, his team should be able to pick up the slack.