Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was scratched from his start tonight against Philadelphia due to inflammation in his hips, and will be moved to the 15-day IL.
The news comes as a surprise considering how dominant Kershaw has looked this season. In five starts, he’s gone 4-0, posting a 1.80 ERA and a 0.733 WHIP while tallying 32 strikeouts.
Pulling Kershaw is the right move, considering “inflammation of the hips” doesn’t tell the whole story. What he’s dealing with, specifically, is sacroiliitis, or inflammation of the sacroiliac (SI) joints. The SI joints sit at the base of your lower spine (sacrum) where it connects to the pelvis (illium) on the left and right sides. They work to support the weight of the upper body when standing, and are essential for the effective load transfer required for pitchers. When inflamed, the SI joints are limited in movement, meaning the body cannot effectively transfer the load generated by the upper body during a pitcher’s windup to the legs during delivery.
For Kershaw, it means he won’t be able to pitch – plain and simple. His recovery will include physical rehab – mainly stretching – and potentially a combination of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors and anesthetic injections; the big thing, though, will be rest.
It’s been an injury-riddled, Hall of Fame caliber career for Kershaw, who is still just 34 years old. He hasn’t pitched a full season since 2019, when he went 16-5 in 28 starts. That season, he earned his 8th All-Star selection, while tallying 189 strikeouts, a 3.03 ERA, and a 1.043 WHIP. Despite the injuries over the years, Kershaw has managed to remain near the top of every statistical category for pitchers. It’s a testament to his competitive spirit and borders on the superhuman.
If history is any indication, Kershaw will bounce back from the SI inflammation. However, he will miss at least two starts.
Kershaw Season Stats – 4-0 / 1.80 ERA / 32 SO / 0.733 WHIP