The only thing that seems to be able to derail Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, other than the occasional October outing, as one is certainly obligated to point out, is injury. The team's ace -- or is that Ross Stripling now? -- returned from his monthlong disabled list stint on Thursday afternoon and looked, well, different against the Philadelphia Phillies, but still made it through five innings with only one run permitted (and that runner did not come close to touching home plate).
How was Kershaw different? Well, it was tough to avoid noticing the decreased velocity on his fastball, for one. He lacked command with multiple offerings early on as well. Kershaw faked it effectively, one could accurately say. He struck out the side in his final inning using nary a fastball. The early exit after 62 pitches was explainable, given the circumstances, but still, the outing was a bit odd.