Last night, Clayton Kershaw did something for the first time in his career. No, he didn’t throw a perfect game. He gave up the first Grand Slam of his career. In the sixth inning, Kershaw gave up a hit and walked two batters to load the bases. Then with two outs, Aaron Altherr hit a Grand Slam into the second deck at Citizens Bank Park. This Grand Slam, however, is not the only strange thing that has happened to Kershaw lately.
When my phone alerted me that Kershaw had given up a Grand Slam, I was shocked. It wasn’t surprising to see that he had never given up a Grand Slam before. It was just surprising that he gave one up. The Phillies — who are the second worst team in all of the Major Leagues (Giants are the worst) — have enjoyed a lot of success against Kershaw. Entering last night’s game, Kershaw had a record of 3-4 with an ERA of 2.92 against the Phils.
That ERA went up and his record against them got worse when he allowed the Grand Slam. However frustrated or angry we may be, I can almost guarantee you that Kershaw is even more frustrated.
“No progress,” Kershaw said bluntly. “We had the lead, I blew it and we lost. Not a lot of progress to be had. Go back to the drawing board and get ready for the next one.”
Is that the only strange game recently? No. Last week, Kershaw was sent to the mound to face the Giants and end the Dodgers’ eleven-game losing streak. He did end it, but it was an uncharacteristic night for the left-hander. He allowed eight hits and walked a batter for a total of nine baserunners. If you know anything about Kershaw, you know that this is strange. He almost never allows more than four baserunners.
Okay, there is one more game I have to talk about. On September 7, Clayton Kershaw was asked to stop a six-game losing streak. The Dodgers were playing the Rockies at Dodger Stadium. In the first inning, Kershaw allowed three runs (a three-run homer by Nolan Arenado). Kershaw allowed a total of four runs over 3.2 innings.
It’s been a strange stretch for Kershaw. I just hope that he can get it going by the time the playoffs start.