Clayton Kershaw has a 9.00 ERA after three spring starts. (Rob Tringali / Getty Images )
There are plenty of reasons to enjoy baseball’s spring training – new beginnings, fresh cut grass, a Tim Lincecum haircut.
But there also days like Tuesday’s, when the Dodgers not only go rather meekly to the San Diego Padres, 7-3, but the team stars struggle.
For the Dodgers’ homegrown superstars, Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp, it was a game to forget, which is highly advisable.
Kershaw went three-plus innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. In three spring starts, he now has a 9.00 ERA.
Kemp started in the field for the first time after two DH appearances. He went 0-for-3 and his now hitless in his first eight at-bats with three strikeouts.
And this is the point where we mention it is March 5, the season opener still almost a month away.
It should also be noted Kershaw has struck out 12 and walked one in his eight innings, though no doubt he’s less than thrilled with his fat ERA. And two of Kemp’s outs have been well hit balls to the warning track.
"I focus on results," Kershaw told reporters in Peoria, Ariz. "That’s the best way to dictate how you’re doing, is how the hitters react. So yeah, it [stinks] to give up runs like. It’s no fun, no matter where it is.
"Hitters react. You saw it. They got hits and runs. That’s all there is to it. They’re reacting well. Which is not good."
It’s always dangerous to put much stock in exhibition games when it comes to spring training, particularly when it is still so early. Anyway, that’s what reliever Matt Guerrier is hoping after giving up a pair of runs in his one inning.
Offensively, the Dodgers managed 11 hits, but only two for extra bases. Juan Uribe and Skip Schumaker each doubled. Uribe also walked, and apparently for a bit of comedic relief, was thrown out attempting to steal second.
Something the Dodgers won't ignore is reliever Shawn Tolleson leaving the game in the eighth inning after apparently injuring his left leg. After getting his first batter out, he threw two pitches to his second and left the game.
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