More bad news for the Cardinals, as Chris Carpenter left this afternoon’s start with a strained hamstring.
Given how depressing spring training has been for the Cardinals so far perhaps the injury being to Carpenter’s leg rather than his arm almost qualifies as good news.
Of course, in the same game reliever Mitchell Boggs departed with a strained lower back, so the hits just keep on coming for a Cardinals pitching staff already reeling from losing Adam Wainwright for the season to Tommy John elbow surgery.
Carpenter told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that “there was no way he could have gone on,” so at the very least he’s unlikely to make another start for a couple weeks.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.