Clayton Kershaw was terrific while pitching with his sore hip Tuesday, but he wasn’t feeling well enough to give it another go Sunday against the Cardinals. The Dodgers scratched him today and announced that he’d see a specialist on Tuesday.
Stephen Fife will pitch in his place in the finale of a four-game series.
The Dodgers are concerned that Kershaw will need season-ending surgery to repair a labrum tear in his hip. If so, he’d be the third Dodgers starter lost for the season, joining Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly.
Kershaw’s absence leaves the Dodgers with a rotation of Josh Beckett, Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang and Joe Blanton. Fife would be mixed in when a fifth starter is needed. Even if the Dodgers do somehow limp int the postseason with that crew, they’d seem to be easy pickings for whomever they face.
Kershaw, the NL Cy Young Award winner last season, is 12-9 with a 2.70 ERA and 206 strikeouts in 206 2/3 innings this year.
Another fan was struck by a line drive foul ball during Sunday’s game between the Rockies and Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Mike DiGiovanna and Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times report. The ball was hit by Cody Bellinger in the first inning, going just beyond where the protective netting ends at the first-base dugout, striking a young woman in the head. Play was delayed for two minutes while the woman received medical attention. She initially stayed in her seat holding an ice pack to her head but was taken to a hospital for evaluation. According to someone in the Dodger Stadium first-aid office, the girl was alert and responding.
After the game, Bellinger said, “It was weird. It’s the first time I think I’ve hit a fan. I saw it literally hit her face. That was tough. I just tried to regroup. I’m sure it was tough for everyone.” He added, “I went over the next half-inning just to make sure she was all right. She said she was all right. She gave me a thumbs up. Obviously, it’s a scary situation.”
Both Bellinger and manager Dave Roberts expressed support for extending the protective netting at Dodger Stadium. [Update: Netting will be extended, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports.]
Bellinger was involved in yet another incident involving a fan later in the game. According to Michael Duarte of NBC Los Angeles, a 14-year-old girl ran on the field in the ninth inning. Bellinger said the girl came up to him and said, “I want a hug.” As she hugged Bellinger, a security guard tackled her. Bellinger said to her, “You know you’re going to jail?” She replied, “Yeah, I know. It was worth it.”