Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw’s First-Inning Struggles Continue

Unfortunately, Clayton Kershaw did not hang a zero in the first inning on Friday night at Dodger Stadium. Furthermore, he allowed back-to-back home runs to Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon which put the Dodgers in an early 2-0 hole.

This post is all about the doldrums of the first inning in 2019 for Kershaw. Indeed, it’s becoming common place for him to give up a few gopher balls early before getting his sea legs underneath him. Typically, once that takes place; he settled in.

Such was the case on Friday night. However, there are some concerning numbers provided to us by Ken Gurnick on twitter.

First off, Kershaw’s ERA in the first inning in 2019 is 6.00 currently. With this being the case, it’s hard to think that Kershaw will go un-scored upon in the first inning throughout the playoffs. While the postseason is known as a second season, the cement has hardened and players are who they have been. Plus, Kershaw’s postseason history has already been a tough road.

Next, Gurnick points out that it’s been a rash of first-inning bombs lately off Kershaw. Equally important, four out of the last six contests have been marked by a homer or more off Kershaw in the first.

Finally, Kershaw has now allowed 27 home runs on the season. A startling total of them of ten have been allowed in the first inning.

Thankfully the Dodger offense came to life to pick Clayton up — after manager Dave Roberts was ejected for the first time this season — and 22 picked up win number 15 on the season (and 99 for the team).

So why do you think that Kershaw is struggling in the first inning? Lack of intensity or preparation? Or is it as simple as random bad luck? Let us know your theory in the comments below.

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