OKC Dodgers journal: Clayton Kershaw pitches into fifth during rehab start
Exactly 3 hours, 20 minutes before first pitch, Clayton Kershaw first stepped onto the new mound at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Standing atop a blue tarp and surrounded by a green water hose, Kershaw envisioned his night ahead. His sweeping curve, his fastball and his slider were planned.
Staying healthy also weighed on his mind.
Kershaw threw 4 1/3 innings in the first of what is likely two rehab starts Thursday night as the Oklahoma City Dodgers opened their season against the San Antonio Missions.
“It was a good first step,” Kershaw said. “I got through everything I needed to, got up for that fifth inning, got some guys on base, worked out of the stretch and did multiple different things. It was a good day.”
Kershaw allowed two runs on four hits and two walks. He struck out six and threw 61 pitches, 41 of which were strikes. His fastball touched 90 mph. The two runs came in the second — a lead-off home run by Tyrone Taylor on an opening fastball and a run-scoring single by Jacob Nottingham later in the inning.
Now, Kershaw is likely to make another rehab start as he works to build up his pitch count. It has not been announced where, but his next turn in the rotation comes up with OKC on the road.
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“I’d love to pitch the next one for the Dodgers, but I also don’t want to put the bullpen at risk or anything with a pitch count too low,” Kershaw said.
Just moments after new OKC manager Travis Barbary ran down the lineup early Thursday, his phone buzzed. So did left-handed reliever Donnie Hart’s.
Hart had been claimed off waivers by the Brewers. Then it hit that meant he just had to change clubhouses.
“That’s my first time having something like that happen,” Barbary said.
It was the second time in a month Hart changed teams via waivers. The Dodgers claimed him from Baltimore on March 7.
OKC and San Antonio continue the five-game series at 7:05 p.m. Friday.
OKC sends right-hander Daniel Corcino to the mound, while right-hander Bubba Derby starts for San Antonio.