After dropping three of four to the Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers disappointed with another loss in their series opener against the Miami Marlins with Clayton Kershaw on the mound. Ryan Yarbrough fell apart in the eighth inning, allowing two homers, and the Dodgers lost 6-3.
But that was hardly the biggest alarm bell. Earlier in the contest, concerns about Kershaw began to arise when fans noticed he hadn't been throwing his fastball a ton. In fact, in the third inning, he didn't throw his fastball until his 12th pitch. Even worse? He was averaging 88.7 MPH on it.
Prior to the contest, manager Dave Roberts admitted Kershaw was not 100% healthy and that there were still some issues with the shoulder injury that sidelined him for about six weeks. He elaborated upon it after the game, too, which didn't quell any concerns.
Kershaw was removed from the game after just five innings and 84 pitches. He allowed three earned runs on five hits and an uncharacteristic five walks. He only struck out three.
Roberts pretty much said the reason behind Kershaw's lackluster outing was because of his shoulder and that there's nothing the team can do about it, suggesting the star left-hander will be pitching compromised the rest of the way. Kershaw says he feels fine and good enough to throw, but something is holding him back it seems.
Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw injury concern, Andrew Friedman comments on Julio Urías
Kershaw has largely been good since coming off the IL, but he's yet to exceed five innings in each of his last five starts, and his 84 pitches marked the most he's thrown since returning. Before that it was 67, 71, 33 (rainout vs Cleveland), and 79. The Dodgers are going to need more length out of their most reliable starter for a number of reasons.
Chief among them being Julio Urías' absence and likely exile from the team. Urías was arrested on Sunday night on suspicion of felony domestic violence and was placed on MLB's restricted list. He didn't travel with the Dodgers to Miami and it's more than likely the last time he threw a pitch for the Dodgers was Sept. 1 against the Braves when he got rocked for five earned runs on nine hits and two walks in five innings. Before that? Another stinker against the Red Sox where he allowed six earned runs on eight hits and a walk in another loss.
For the first time since the arrest, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman spoke on the matter after the Dodgers briefly acknowledged the incident and announced Urías wouldn't be with the team on its upcoming east coast road trip.
This is the second time Urías has been implicated in a domestic violence incident, with the other coming in 2019 when he was suspended for 20 games despite not being charged. However, MLB is now taking these cases more and more seriously by the month, and the fact Urías' bail cost $50,000 simply cannot foreshadow a positive outcome here.
From a pitching standpoint, it's obvious how this hurts the Dodgers even though Urías hadn't been great this year. Now the pressure will be on Kershaw, Bobby Miller, Lance Lynn and the returning Walker Buehler to prop up the staff in October.
But given the grave allegations here, it's irresponsible to even think of the baseball implications of Urías' actions. He could become the first player to ever be suspended twice under the league's domestic violence policy, which would put his MLB future in question. Urías' character concerns will now be at the forefront of any discussion related to him, in addition to the wellbeing of the alleged victim.