UPDATE: Mark Sheldon of MLB.com passes along word that Hamilton sprained the third and fourth knuckles of his left (glove) hand on the catch. No word on how much time he’ll need to miss.
7:41 p.m. ET: Billy Hamilton left tonight’s game against the Brewers in the first inning after he suffered an apparent injury when he robbed Carlos Gomez of extra bases on a diving catch. You can watch the excellent play here.
Hamilton managed to finish the top half of the inning, but was replaced by pinch-hitter Chris Heisey when the Reds came up to bat in the bottom of the first. No word yet on the exact nature of the injury, but we’ll pass along an update when it’s available.
Hamilton started the season very slow, going hitless over his last five games, but he entered play tonight hitting .280/.310/.378 with five extra-base hits, six RBI, and 11 stolen bases over his last 21 games. Here’s hoping it’s something minor. Hamilton is a lot of fun to watch. And as we saw tonight, it’s not just because of what he does on the bases.
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.