It wasn’t fair to the lineup of minor-league campers who hadn’t even faced live batting practice yet, but Clayton Kershaw was pitching like the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Sunday.
Kershaw struck out five of the seven batters he faced, induced a groundout to third base, and allowed a broken-bat infield single to Jake Lemmerman– a 22-year-old from Corona Del Mar who can claim a new career highlight above the 21 Double-A games he played last season.
More importantly, Kershaw “felt fine” after throwing 25 pitches in his two scheduled innings in the Dodgers’ four-inning intrasquad game at Camelback Ranch.
“It was good to get into that game setting and get back into the routine of every fifth day having something to do,” he said.
The Dodgers’ opening day starter, Kershaw topped out at 93 mph on the radar gun — 94 if you include the ball Lemmerman put in play, a reading that can be obscured by the swing of a bat. Matt Treanor, who was calling and receiving Kershaw’s pitches Sunday, felt like the left-hander was throwing harder. He guessed 96.
“The sky’s the limit with that guy,” Treanor said. “I’ve hit against him. I’ve seen what he can do. The guy’s very special. He went out there today with a certain mindset and that’s the mark of a pro, really. He knew what he wanted to do and executed what he wanted to accomplish with the workout.”
More from Kershaw and left-hander Chris Capuano, who also threw two scoreless and uneventful innings Sunday, in tomorrow’s editions.