The Los Angeles Dodgers rotation is whole once again. Ace Clayton Kershaw returned to the mound on Tuesday night as part of an intriguing series between the Dodgers and the Washington Nationals.
Even with Kershaw’s career dominance, there had to be a measure of trepidation in the Dodgers dugout that he would not look like his old self, at least not right away after missing so much time with a back injury.
No concerns here. Exhibit A is the box score: 7 IP, 9 H, 0 R, and 9 K’s.
Exhibit B is this video of his first strikeout upon returning, courtesy of MLB.com:
I would say that the “rusty” version of Kershaw looks an awful lot like the good version of Kershaw. Not surprisingly he was on a short leash in this outing, needing just 89 pitches to wrap up those seven dominant innings. For what it’s worth, even if what it is worth is just a resigned giggle, this outing brought Kershaw’s season ERA down to 0.66 in two starts.
The Dodgers will still monitor Kershaw closely, of course, but it looks like they can now proceed with their wicked one-two combination in tact at the top of their rotation.