Sometimes, pitchers are just have off nights or innings or sequences; at first glance, that looked to be the case with Kershaw in the first inning last night. The perennial Cy Young winner loaded the bases with no outs, though he eventually escaped the opening frame having allowed only one run. But Kershaw’s shaky start apparently wasn’t just a case of randomness — it was because of Tyler Anderson.
From ESPN’s Doug Padilla:
Before his bumpy opening to the game, as the game was set to start, Kershaw had to wait as Colorado Rockies starter Tyler Anderson made his way to the dugout from the bullpen in right field after completing his pregame warm-ups.
The Dodgers' three-time Cy Young Award winner was none too pleased.
"That was ... I mean, that was one of the more disrespectful things I have been a part of in a game," Kershaw said after he rebounded from his slow start to strike out 10 Rockies and lead the Dodgers to a 4-2 victory.
"I really didn't appreciate that," Kershaw added. "The game starts at 7:10 and has started at 7:10 here for a long time. Just go around, or finish earlier. But yeah, that wasn't appreciated, for sure."
Add that to the list of stupid unwritten rules — as well as to the list of excuses opposing teams make up when the Rockies experience any modicum of success against them. We’ve got humidor foul play. We’ve got doctoring the baseball with a drink. We’ve got stealing signs. We’ve got Coors damn Field as a whole.
And now, we have the “disrespectful” action of taking a little bit longer to complete pregame warmups.
Truth be told, I’m glad Anderson did this, regardless of his intentions. I’m not one to care much about violations of baseball’s unwritten rules, but we’re talking about a Dodgers team that employs Yasiel Puig, who—despite not even barreling up the pitch—celebrated a deep flyout like it was a home run in the ninth inning just two nights ago. A team that partied in the pool at Chase Field after clinching the division a couple of years ago. A team that includes Chase Utley, whose questionable slide injured New York Mets infielder Ruben Tejada two postseasons ago.
If Anderson’s late stroll signals the Rockies fighting back, or even exuding a little confidence and swagger, great. It’s all good. We’re talking about a pitcher in Kershaw who has a sub-1.00 ERA and other ridiculous numbers over his last dozen or so home starts. Anything helps.
Granted, it would’ve looked a lot better had Anderson and the Rockies gone in and defeated the league’s top pitcher. But now Kershaw has something else to think about besides simply mowing down Colorado hitters as he’s accustomed to doing, particularly at Dodger Stadium.
But maybe this is the start of a few things.
Perhaps the Rockies are done taking crap from anyone and everyone. And, more specifically, the dozen or so games left between Colorado and the Dodgers are going to take on a new meaning, and hold a new level of excitement.
So, hats off to you, Tyler Anderson. As for Kershaw?
It’s April 20. Maybe the guy should take note and chill out.