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Clayton Kershaw’s back is sore and everything is terrible

Wednesday’s Say Hey, Baseball sees a potential interruption in one of the great pitching seasons, another Indians victory, and the only correct way to fill out your All-Star ballots.

Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

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Clayton Kershaw allowed more than two runs in a start for only the second time all season on Sunday, when the Pirates scored four off of him in six innings of work. He might have an excuse for this uncharacteristic performance, as he’s been experiencing lower back soreness. Now, Kershaw is headed to Los Angeles to have his back examined, and his next start is up in the air. If something is wrong with Kershaw’s back, that would be terrible news for an already decimated Dodgers’ rotation, but also for our baseball-loving eyeballs, because Kershaw is having himself a special year even by his standards.

As Eric Stephen pointed out in the above link, were Kershaw to be placed on the disabled list in the short-term to rest his back, he would only lose out on two starts over a three-week span thanks to the All-Star break. So, even if he needs to miss time, this could be the appropriate spot in the schedule for it. That’s if he needs to miss any time at all, of course: this could purely be a Wednesday morning concern that goes away after Kershaw’s visit to the doctor. The Dodgers are obviously hoping for that, given the state of their rotation.

Los Angeles has already had eight different starting pitchers this year. Alex Wood is on the disabled list. Hyun-Jin Ryu is working his way back after multiple setbacks in his attempt to return from shoulder surgery. Brandon McCarthy has missed the first three months of 2016 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Scott Kazmir has made his 16 starts, but hasn’t pitched well. Julio Urias is only a temporary solution, as he’s already at 74 innings on the season: his career-high is 87, logged back in 2014. The Dodgers can’t afford a long-term Kershaw injury, nor can they afford a diminished Kershaw, so they have to hope this back soreness is of little concern.