Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw Pulled After 1 Inning vs. Cubs in Shortest Career Start

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 4, 2021

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MAY 04: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch during the first inning of game one of a doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 04, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Clayton Kershaw is one of the best pitchers of his generation and a surefire future Hall of Famer.

He was anything but that Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Dodgers ace pitched a single inning during his team's 7-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs in the first game of a doubleheader at Wrigley Field. ESPN noted it was the shortest start of his career, just edging out another short start on a May 4 when he pitched 1.1 innings against the Washington Nationals in 2010.

Kershaw allowed four runs, four hits and two walks in Tuesday's frame.

His Cubs counterpart, Kyle Hendricks, was much more effective and allowed one earned run while striking out six in the complete seven-inning showing.

It wasn't the first time Hendricks outperformed Kershaw at Wrigley Field, as the pair faced off against each other in Game 6 of the 2016 National League Championship Series. Kershaw took the loss while allowing five runs, two home runs and seven hits in five innings, while Hendricks was brilliant and allowed two hits in 7.1 shutout innings.

The victory clinched a spot in the World Series for the Cubs, where they eventually won their first championship since 1908.

Tuesday was Kershaw's second subpar start of the season, as he allowed five earned runs and 10 hits in 5.2 innings during an Opening Day loss to the Colorado Rockies. Since then, he allowed four total runs in his next five starts and threw three shutouts.

"Everything was bad," the southpaw said after the game. "I'm not going to try to analyze it too much and just hope that this one was an outlier and get ready for the next one."

The powerhouse Dodgers are now just 4-11 in their last 15 games and one game back of the San Francisco Giants in the National League West race.