Before his bumpy opening to the game, as the game was set to start, Kershaw had to wait as Colorado Rockies starter Tyler Anderson made his way to the dugout from the bullpen in right field after completing his pregame warm-ups.
The Dodgers’ three-time Cy Young Award winner was none too pleased.
“That was … I mean, that was one of the more disrespectful things I have been a part of in a game,” Kershaw said after he rebounded from his slow start to strike out 10 Rockies and lead the Dodgers to a 4-2 victory.
“I really didn’t appreciate that,” Kershaw added. “The game starts at 7:10 and has started at 7:10 here for a long time. Just go around, or finish earlier. But yeah, that wasn’t appreciated, for sure.”
Once the game started, Kershaw walked leadoff man Charlie Blackmon and then gave up singles to DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado to load the bases. He gave up just one run in the inning, though, on a sacrifice fly from Mark Reynolds.
“I don’t think it affected [Kershaw],” catcher Yasmani Grandal said. “Actually, it might have started a fire [under him]. That may be the best way to describe it. It was probably a bad thing for them. But it’s a learning process. [Anderson] is young, and I think he hasn’t even had a year in the big leagues yet. He’ll learn from it.”
Anderson said the delay was unintentional.
“I threw a few extra pitches in the bullpen before the game,” Anderson said. “I didn’t mean any disrespect by it. I was surprised the umpire didn’t let him pitch.”
Kershaw rebounded from the slow start to strike out 10 batters, the 52nd time he has recorded double-digit strikeouts in a game. It is the most double-digit strikeout games for a pitcher since 2008, Kershaw’s rookie season.
Of the Dodgers’ eight loses this season, six have come when an opponent started a left-handed pitcher. But they have won both games the left-handed Anderson has started against them this season. On Wednesday, they clipped the 27-year old for four runs (two earned) on six hits over five innings.
Kershaw downplayed the effect the pregame incident had on his performance.
“I had Blackmon down 0-2 right away. I just couldn’t finish him off,” Kershaw said about the first Rockies batter of the game. “No, that wasn’t a factor.”