Clayton Kershaw didn’t exactly receive a warm welcome Tuesday night.
Kershaw started for the Dodgers against the Red Sox in Game 1 of the World Series, marking his first ever appearance at Fenway Park, and the raucous Boston crowd wasted little time in making life difficult for the Los Angeles left-hander.
“Brutal. Pretty brutal,” Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt told Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci of the Fenway Park visitors’ bullpen, where Kershaw warmed up before Game 1 — just feet from the fans.
Kershaw had a shaky outing, allowing five earned runs on seven hits and three walks over four innings as the Red Sox won 8-4 to grab a 1-0 series lead. The struggles began early, too, as Boston scored two runs in the first inning, ultimately prompting the Fenway Faithful to shower the three-time National League Cy Young Award winner with chants of “Ker-shaw! Ker-shaw!”
There were plenty of reasons for Kershaw’s woes: Diminished velocity, questionable pitch selection and Boston’s relentless offensive approach, to name a few. But maybe emotions also came into play. And maybe — just maybe — the downfall started before the game’s first pitch when Kershaw warmed up in the visitors’ bullpen located right next to the Fenway Park bleacher seats.
“What I don’t understand is why baseball allows it,” Honeycutt said of the Fenway bullpen, per Verducci. “You’ve got the rubber right there and people literally standing over you.”
Sounds like the Dodgers might be rattled, no?
Thumbnail photo via Charles Krupa/Pool USA TODAY Sports Images
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