Clayton Kershaw is set to make a surprise return from the disabled list Saturday night, starting for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a marquee matchup against New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom.
Kershaw has been sidelined since June 1 with a lower back strain. The three-time Cy Young Award winner and 2014 National League MVP originally was scheduled to make a rehab start Saturday with Triple-A Oklahoma City at Omaha, but heavy rain in the forecast caused the Dodgers to change plans.
It’s probably the best thing for him and for us, manager Dave Roberts said Friday. We don’t know how much he’s going to pitch. I don’t want to put a limit on him. Obviously, there is a limitation with Clayton, and I’ll make that decision.
Roberts said rookie Caleb Ferguson (0-1, 7.59 ERA) will be ready in reserve. The 21-year-old left-hander had been slated to make his fourth major league start Saturday.
The ace left-hander threw a three-inning simulated session Monday at Wrigley Field in Chicago and said he felt really good. The next day, Roberts said Kershaw returning against the Mets this weekend was considered, but the team opted for a minor league start to give him the best chance for success and health.
Kershaw, a seven-time All-Star, missed about five weeks last season with a similar back problem.
Brewers catcher Manny Pina caught the ball somewhat awkwardly, but a major league ump, especially one who has been in the bigs since 1991, should not be fooled by that.
The blown call led to the ejection of Brewers manager Craig Counsell, who came out to protect Pina and pitcher Corey Knebel, who was incredulous after his 99 mph fastball was called inside:
I didn’t have any problems the first seven innings; no issues, Counsell said, per the (Milwaukee) Journal Sentinel . (Hernandez) missed some calls in the eighth inning, I thought, that were important pitches. In the ninth inning, I thought he missed two pitches. But it’s more about protecting Corey and Manny. That’s the most important thing there. They have a more important job than I do at that point.
The Brewers went on to win the game 1-0. After Pina threw out pinch runner Nick Ahmed trying to steal, Knebel struck out Paul Goldschmidt and retired retired Daniel Descalso on a grounder to first base, with Knebel making the game-ending putout.